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CJPRSC Holzdorf


In October 2012, the CJPRS course was held on the German airbase of Holzdorf (ICAO code ETSH), near Berlin. This is an annual helicopter course to train European multinational Personnel Recovery and Combat Search And Rescue.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
© Sentry Aviation News

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For the 2012 CJPRS course, the following participants moved to Flugplaz Holzdorf for 2 weeks:
  • French Air Force: 1 AS-555 Fennec, 1 AS-330 SuperPuma, 1 EC-725 Caracal
  • Belgian Air Force: 2 A109
  • Italian Air Force: 2 AB-212, 1 HH-3F, 2 AMX
  • Italian Navy: 1 NH-90
Flying from their homebases were German Eurofighters and an E-3 AWACS. 320 persons were involved, from 12 countries (Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and United States of America). Specialized ground forces (Extraction Forces) came from Germany, France, Italy and Poland.


The exercise lasted 2 weeks at Holzdorf airbase whereby the mission were built up from easy daytime missions to get acquainted with the environment and the participants, towards difficult nighttime missions with many participants and many threats during the last week. The cooperation between Fixed-Wing forces, Rotary-Wing forces and Extraction Forces became Each day, 2 mission were planned, with a planning beginning around 0700 in the morning, take-off around noon, landing around 1400 and a briefing afterwards. Special part of the exercise were the FARP (Forward Arming and Refueling Positions) that were combined with the exercise. Special FARP units from Belgium, France, Italy and Germany, set-up a FARP location to train multinaltional cross-training. And the missions planned the FARP


In 2002, the European Air Group started the CSAR action plan, whereby multinational CSAR exercises were planned. As the EAG is more of an advisory organization than a standing organization, the aim of the EAG is to set-up a European CSAR organization and deliver responsibility to a standing organization. Just as the EAG did with the EATC, European Air Transport Command, the command that coordinates all operations of transport aircraft of the participating countries. After the startup phase, the EATC is now a standing operational unit at Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands. In 2006 the first discussions started with the Tactical Leadership Program at Florennes airbase (Belgium) and in 2007 and 2008 the first courses were held under the name of CJCSARSC. In 2009 the course was held at Cazaux in France, in 2010 at Lechfeld in Germany and in 2011 at Albacete in Spain. As there was not yet a standing organization to transfer the responsibility for the organization, EAG still organized the CJPRSC of 2012 at Holzdorf airbase in Germany.


In order to maintain and enhance the CJSPRC knowledge, a number of items need to be fulfilled:
  • A static course location, to organize several courses per year at various levels (like academics, novice, advanced courses)
  • An extended course horizon, planning and looking ahead a few year
  • Secured support environment, like nearby hotels and varied exercise areas
  • Budgetary independence, with fixed budgets, not depending on

The CJPRSC in 2013 will be held at Cazaux airbase in France.

"We can't do it on our own"

Most heard statement was that the European military forces are hampered by budget cuts these days and operations need to be done in cooperation with other countries. No country can perform long lasting military operations on it's own anymore. Countries do not have the resources anymore to perform a complete CJSPRC-like operation abroad for a long time. Therefore (European) cooperation and standardization is necessary to deliver CJSPRC onto the battlefield.


The European Air Group is a joint effort of the air forces of United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. The aim of the EAG is to improve operational capacity of items of the participating air forces. This resulted in the EATC (European Air Transport Command), whereby nearly all transport aircraft of the EAG countries are planned and controlled from 1 central location at Eindhoven airbase (NL). Another initiative is the bi-annual VOLCANEX exercise, that was held in 2012 at Base Aerienne Vouziers in France. CSJPRC is another initiative of the EAG. The EAG headquarter is located at RAF High Wycombe in Great-Britain.


Thanks to Lt-Col Wesseling (Dutch AF) of the EAG for the assistance.
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