The 12th iteration of the Air Centric Personnel Recovery Operatives Course (APROC 2018) took place from May 23rd till Jun. the 7th at Gilze-Rijen, in the Netherlands, home of the Defense Helicopter Command (DHC).
Along with 600 personnel from 12 countries, several combat planes and helicopters supported the exercise: Dutch F-16s and Italiaan EF2000 Typhoons in the Fixed Wing RESCORT role; French AS555, Dutch AH-64 and Polish Mi-24 helicopters in the Rotary Wing RESCORT role; Dutch CH-47, Spanish AS332, French Navy NH-90, Royal Navy Merlin HC4, Italian Air Force HH-101 and Italian Navy EH-101, Swedish Hkp.16a in the Extraction Vehicle role. The exercise was also supported by the Italian Air Force G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft belonging to the 14° Stormo (Wing) from Pratica di Mare airbase.
“The course aims to educate and train Aircrews and Extraction Forces in the implementation of internationally agreed techniques and procedures for Personnel Recovery operations as a member of a combined and joint force contingent,” says the European Personnel Recovery Center in a release published after the course. “The result of this kind of training will be an interoperable force that will be able to provide a viable PR capability for future contingencies. The course aims were achieved by planning and conducting 26 missions in 9 flying days, resulting in more than 140 sorties and 300 flight hours of the participating 20 aircraft. This training opportunity enables the participants to train the Personnel Recovery mission profile in a realistic and international environment that uses the processes and structures found in international operations. The APROC is currently the only European opportunity that focuses entirely on this mission set and attracts great interest in many countries.”