U.S. 7th Fleet hosts the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency’s (JPRA) personnel recovery training aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during the week of April 14.
The JPRA is charged with coordinating and advancing capabilities for military, civil, and diplomatic efforts to obtain the release or recovery of captured, missing, or isolated U.S. personnel from uncertain or hostile environments.
“When personnel are recovered, there are multiple measures that must be taken in order to ensure their full recovery, both physically and psychologically,” said John M. Patarini, JPRA lead instructor. “It is my job to educate the people attending this course so that they are able to implement these steps correctly and maintain efficiency with the recovered individual.”
The training provides the proper personnel recovery procedures to maximize efficiency and to return the individual recovered back to full duty.
In order to push this overall goal to the students, the course is composed of three sections, the initial planning, execution, and reintegration of the individual back to duty that are taught throughout the week
“The instructors are the subject matter experts and were outstanding in providing a high level of knowledge, as well as detailed accounts on actual personnel recovery events,” said Chief Naval Air Crewmen Mechanical Eric Nordstrom. “In addition they tailored the training to how we operate here and what we could possibly encounter during our tours in the Seventh Fleet AOR.”
Even though this class was taught to Sailors aboard the Blue Ridge, the JPRA also provides training to multiple organizations across the Department of Defense.
According to Patarini, personnel recovery training is a high priority of the DoD and commands across the globe must meet the DoD’s requirement. The class allows for DoD organizations to not only plan for the here and now, but plan for the worst should it happen.
“As a Naval Air Crewmen it makes me feel good to know the JPRA is providing this high quality training to the fleet,” said Nordstrom. “In the event one of my fellow Service Members or I require assistance, the tools are in place to affect a successful recovery ensuring everyone comes home safe,”
Press Release, April 18, 2014; Image: US Navy