- developing a common approach and understanding in PR (culture, practices and procedures);
- facilitating the development of a multi-layered programme of activities aiming to cope the identified capability shortfalls in PR;
- encouraging the European defence industry to become more innovative and competitive in developing and validating new PR capabilities and technologies;
- supporting activities related to information and command & control (C2) aspects in PR;
- facilitating and supporting PR and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Extraction (SERE) training;
- enabling multinational cooperation and coordination among Member States (MS) in order to enhance the interoperability of their PR capabilities;
- facilitating cooperation with other EU and non-EU entities to ensure synergy of efforts, cost savings and avoiding duplication;
- addressing civilian and humanitarian aspects of PR
Personnel Recovery is becoming increasingly significant for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and missions since any deployed person carries the risk of being trapped, isolated, captured and/or maltreated by adversary forces. If this occurs, the incident can have a detrimental impact not only on the operation’s security but also on deployed forces’ morale as well as general public support. It is therefore imperative to ensure the effective and quick recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel by using all possible diplomatic, civil and military options.
Since its inception EDA’s PT PR has been working in support of its participating Member States (pMS) in order to enhance their PR capabilities and to effectively address these challenges. Under the German chairmanship and with the active participation of pMS, the PT PR has delivered tangible results and studies. In its activities the PT PR is also supported by the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) and the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) as well as the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC), a close partner of the Agency.
The efforts of EDA’s PT PR to close identified shortfalls in PR and to provide the required capability to safely recover isolated personnel are connected to an enduring process. In this context, working on four different but interrelated work strands (Concept, Command & Control, Equipment and Training) the PT PR aims to address the full spectrum of PR capability development; from the cultural and conceptual context through training aspects to the development and use of advanced technologies. Front-runner achievements include:
- Personnel Recovery Functional Area Service Advanced Technology Demonstrator (PR FAS ATD): an information management and command & control (C2) system which aims at increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of PR missions. The demonstrator has been successfully developed and distributed to all pMS and partners in 2016.
- PR base line e-learning tool for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE): it is an e-learning package developed by the Swedish Armed Forces and provided by the EDA. It is a web-based and interactive tool which ensures the required harmonization of SERE training methods among pMS and the EU as a whole, it facilitates the pre-deployment training of high number of personnel and allows for distance PR training which saves time & cost.
- Personnel Recovery Controller and Planner Course (PRCPC): it is a cooperative project established in May 2013 under the lead of Sweden. The project has been continuously developed and in 2017 it was rebranded as “Joint Personnel Recovery Staff Course (JPRC)” which is in effect until end of April 2019 and it includes eight contributing Member States (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden). The course aim is to provide MS’ staff with fundamental subject matter expertise (knowledge, skills and abilities) in order to be able to prepare, plan, execute and adapt PR tasks in the tactical/operational headquarters and/or Component Commands in preparation and execution of operations/missions. Ultimately, it ensures that trained personnel are available to support any PR activity under CSDP.
- EU “Concept for Personnel Recovery in support of the CSDP operations”:The PT PR with the leading support of the EPRC and other EU partners (EUMS and CMPD) supports the revision of the current EU’ PR Concept in order to synchronize it to the new security landscape andthe findings from NATO PR fora.