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    CJTF-RS24 conducts C2, personnel recovery exercise

    CJTF-RS24 conducts C2, personnel recovery exercise

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Devin Boyer | A U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport (CCAT) team provides simulated medical...... read more read more

    The Combined Joint Task Force - RS24 conducted a command and control (C2) and personnel recovery scenario in Lima, Peru, June 12, 2024.

    Designed to test rescue coordination efforts between the 612th Air Operations Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Personnel Recovery Center; U.S. Embassy Peru; the CJTF - RS24 team; and other participating units, the scenario involved rescuing two service members isolated in the desert, unable to recover themselves.

    “The objective of the personnel recovery exercise was to practice command and control in a chief-of-mission environment, meaning, the U.S. Embassy Ambassador, or Charge de Affairs, has to approve the execution to recover isolated U.S. personnel in their respective country,” said Juan Carlos Quintana, 612th AOC and U.S. Air Forces Southern Personnel Recovery Coordination Cell deputy director.

    The scenario simulated U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Will Alvarez and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Harrington driving to Chiclayo, Peru, where they encountered a roadblock. From there, they implemented Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) protocol and headed for the coast.

    Utilizing a SHOUT Nano, a satellite tracker and messaging device, they sent out a transmission informing their position and direction of travel to all entities in the Nano’s hierarchy who have access to the Guardian system.

    Once Alvarez and Harrington signaled for recovery, the C2 operations began. Collectively, the 612th AOC, U.S. Embassy Peru, USSOUTHCOM, and CJTF - RS24 coordinated personnel recovery utilizing the USMC 3rd Recon Force Company and Peruvian marksman assets as they had the highest chance of success with minimal risk due to their proximity and capabilities as a personnel recovery force.

    U.S. Marine Corps Maj. John Hollingsworth, 3rd Recon Force Company platoon commander, said that the generation from the Global War on Terrorism are retiring out, and so “we have to make sure that we pass on a lot of the wisdom that was collected over the years and paid for in blood, and make sure that the guys going into the next generation have a taste of what it is like to actually get spun up on a last minute, ready, alert type of mission set.”

    Executing a recovery mission involves a lot of moving parts, especially when personnel are stranded in a country other than their own. Due to the complexities, this exercise facilitated process improvement and interoperability, and fostered communications capabilities.

    “It is imperative for the Department of Defense, State Department, and partner-nation leadership to understand the authorities provided to legally recover U.S. personnel,” Quintana said. “Practicing this complex process assists in understanding the complexity, permissions and authorities. The process is using the ‘whole government approach’ to recover isolated personnel.”

    Rapid mobility is a key component to the success of personnel recovery. As such, the recovery team quickly traversed the arid and mountainous landscape in off-road vehicles. They navigated to the designated extraction point, a lighthouse along the coast where the two stranded personnel patiently waited.

    Upon arrival, the recovery force discovered one of the individuals suffering from dehydration and the other with a possible traumatic brain injury. After performing initial triage, they carefully transferred them to a nearby camp where a U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport team received the patients, providing a higher level of care.

    “We've got all of our gear on us, we've got full combat loads on us at all times, and because we did all of those things right, we were able to get back here within six minutes, and immediately, everyone knew exactly what they needed to do,” Hollingsworth said. “They put in the work. They're an extremely mature group, and they were able to get it done. It ran very smoothly.”

    Execution of the personnel recovery mission was made possible with the joint cooperation of C2 assets. Even with several key organizations relaying information back and forth on a large scale, decision makers were able to implement a plan and return U.S. assets to safety.

    “The biggest strength was the reporting system and the actual notification process,” Quintana added. “From the component to the executing unit, information was passed and updated with refined data.”

    In the race against time to save a life, training scenarios like these shorten the coordination time to get the right people at the right place. Developing relationships throughout Resolute Sentinel 2024 could mean saving precious time, resulting in saving lives.


    Date Taken: 06.16.2024
    Date Posted: 06.16.2024 19:38
    Story ID: 474102
    Location: LIMA, PE

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