Ms. Monica Shephard, the Vice Director for Joint Force Development, J7 (Pentagon) visited the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC) on 4 August at Poggio Renatico AB (Italy).
She was escorted by a delegation from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) in order to establish the working relationships between both HQ.
After the welcome remarks by Maj Gen Fantuzzi and the introduction of the respective agencies, the discussions covered the main topic, focusing on the status and possible way ahead on specific lines of mutual support between our HQ. The main focus was to create collaboration between the two organisations in order to better support the establishment of a multinational PR capability for the use during coalition operations.
Even if the partnership between JPRA and EPRC dates back to 2007, with the predecessor of the EPRC, these were mostly informal and therefore based upon personal initiatives, but they were not supported with any kind of baseline Guidance and Directives through the appropriate leaderships. It is the general feeling, that the intended cooperation is beneficial for everyone. Consequently, this visit is seen as a milestone for the future cooperation on international PR activities and will allow the identification of ‘gaps and seams’ in international PR, PR event coordination, C2 training standardisation, prioritisation of EPRC training opportunities and cooperation in LI/ LL processes.
The meeting was held in a cordial and open forum and provided tangible output. It is seen to provide a first step towards a formalised collaboration with the common intent to develop a robust PR capability.
The JPRA is a 400 strong US interagency organisation that deals with PR for all US national requirements, it is located at Washington D.C.