U.S. Africa Command’s Personnel Recovery Branch strengthened partnerships and enhanced crisis response by hosting the first-ever Personnel Recovery Table Top Exercise Rodeo at the Edelweiss Resort and Conference Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from Oct. 16-20, 2022.
U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Thomas Savage, deputy director for operations, opened the event by emphasizing the importance and priority U.S. Africa Command leadership places on ensuring rapid and assured response to isolated or injured service members in Africa.
To achieve this end, U.S. Africa Command and partner nations must coordinate to mutually support personnel recovery and patient movement in Africa. The Personnel Recovery Table Top Exercise Rodeo brought these rescue professionals together to improve the collective capability to save American, allied and partner nation lives.
U.S. Africa Command currently has nine Memorandum of Understanding agreements with partners, to include France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Belgium. These partners often operate alongside or in the same areas as U.S. Africa Command personnel, and each of these MOU countries were in attendance – as well as several other partner nations who are in personnel recovery MOU development with U.S. Africa Command.
During the event, representatives from each nation with a personnel recovery MOU provided an overview of their Personnel Recovery/Casualty Evacuation capabilities and coordination architecture in support of operations in Africa. Participants then rehearsed several personnel recovery scenarios with partner nations responding with their rescue forces when requested by U.S. Africa Command and vice versa. These scenarios highlighted the coordination and communication process of mutual support to incident response and follow-on actions.
Personnel from U.S. Africa Command’s Operations Law and Command Surgeon offices supported the event with briefings and facilitated scenario discussions. The event was further attended by U.S. Africa Command components, U.S. European Command’s Personnel Recover Branch, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and industry search and rescue integrators.