PARAMARIBO, Suriname - Col. Ernst L. Mercuur, commander of the Suriname Armed Forces, and his staff received an overview of personnel recovery procedures from Col. Robert A. Casias, Beyond the Horizon Task Force Commander, U.S. Army South, Aug. 4, 2008 at the Suriname Armed Forces Headquarters as part of Beyond the Horizon 2008 - Suriname to familiarize themselves with operational procedures and support requirements.

"This was a personal request of mine as an information-sharing exchange," said Mercuur. "Currently, we are actively engaged in the recovery efforts of a civilian who has been missing eight days now."

Personnel recovery, or PR, is the sum of military, diplomatic and civil efforts to effect the recovery and return of U.S. military, Defense Department civilians, department contractors or other personnel as determined by the secretary of defense who are isolated, missing, detained or captured in the operational environment. PR involves five tasks: Report, Locate, Support, Recover and Reintegration of the Soldier.

"The most important step in the process is reporting the incident," said Casias. "Bad news doesn't get better with time and units must learn to report bad news in order to energize the process."

The partnership between the U.S. and Suriname is based on shared democratic values. "We share the same values - never leave a fallen comrade is a common ethos. Our Soldiers represent our number-one asset," said Lt. Col. William Andino, Beyond the Horizon operations officer, U.S. Army South.

Following the exchange the two leaders and friends discussed the possibility of integrating PR operations into future joint exercises.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16