The first Change of Command was conducted for the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC) at Poggio Renatico on 29 June 2018, when Col D Fanelli passed on his duties to Col S Demps.
The Ceremony was hosted by MG Conserva, the Italian Steering Group Member and conducted by BG Marboeuf, the EPRC Director. Following the Italian protocol, MG Conserva opened the proceedings after both vitae of the outgoing and incoming Commanders were read, and left the floor to Col Fanelli who, in a very personal way, described his impressions of the past three years. He talked about highlights and drawbacks, all in a context of a challenging environment. Furthermore, he talked about some disbelief in the predefined EPRC development timelines, which seemed to be a dominating feeling with other partners. Moreover, he praised the EPRC Staff for the relentless and active support during his time as the Commander. Thereafter, Col Demps went to the podium, where he took the opportunity to praise the development of the EPRC over the past years and briefly described his intentions for the future. Subsequently, BG Marboeuf took the stage to compliment Col Fanelli for his engagement and initiative throughout his tenure as a commander. He described him as a determined and proactive officer, who was ideally placed in the position as the first Commander since these attributes made it possible to achieve the Final Operational Capability of the EPRC in this short timeframe. The Director of the EPRC also took the opportunity to welcome the incoming Commander to Poggio and wished him a successful and enjoyable time in this new position.
Thereafter, Col Fanelli presented a key as a symbol for the ownership of the Centre to BG Marboeuf, which then passed it on to Col Demps, signifying the commencement of his lead. In pilot speak this would be phrased as “the shaker is the taker, you got control”.
Col Fanelli then invited all present to the EPRC premises, where a buffet was waiting. With food and drinks, the old times were revived and many stories told. The EPRC staff also used this opportunity to present a gift for the first Commander, which shall find a place of honour in his cantina, just recently established in his freshly refurbished house.
Col Fanelli had worked on the establishment of the EPRC since 2011 and took Command of the Centre in Jul 2015 when it was first established. He will continue to be employed at Poggio Renatico, where he will be posted to the Comando Operazioni Aeree dell’Aeronautica Militare.