INTRODUCTION OF THE COURSE
From 2002 to 2006, the European Air Group (EAG) conducted VOLCANEX Exercises with a heavy focus on Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR). These exercises provided not only valuable training for the participating forces but, also threw up a variety of lessons learned. Through these, it became obvious that Force Integration Training was extremely valuable.
As no other training opportunity of this kind was available in Europe, the EAG developed a Combined Joint Combat Search and Rescue Standardization Course on the basis of the previous VOLCANEX exercises and their respective lessons learned.
Later on, the need for this course became more pronounced. However, the naming of it lead to misunderstandings and distracted from its aims. CSAR is just a narrow subset of Personnel Recovery.
On the 3rd of July 2013, the EAG Chiefs of Air Staff decided to create a European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC). An interim EPRC was initiated and situated at RAF High Wycombe with 8 Staff Officers under the control of the Director of the EAG. The EPRC achieved Initial Operational Capability on the 8th of July 2015 and an inauguration ceremony was held at its final location on Poggio Renatico Air Base in Italy.
This is the first time that the EPRC organizes the course by itself. Last year the course was still organized by the EAG and ultimately implemented by the EPRC. The name of the course has also changed in Air Centric Personnel Recovery Operatives Course to provide more clarity.