A United Kingdom flag was added to the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency Headquarters on Fort Belvoir, last week.
During the British flag posting ceremony, JPRA added the United Kingdom to countries that work with the U.S. for personnel recovery around the world. Germany was added last year. JPRA focuses on preventing warfighter isolation events; prepares them for what to do if they become isolated; and responds, globally, to isolation events.
The first UK foreign liaison officer for JPRA, Flight Lt. Stephen Reid, and his wife, Harriet, arrived at Fort Belvoir earlier this year.
“This day is important to show the strong relationship between the UK and the U.S., in terms of personnel recovery,” he said before the ceremony. “We’ve made promises to get our troops, our people, back. It’s perfect timing to show how close-knit our countries are.”
Brig. Gen. Joseph D’costa, the reserve vice director at Joint Force Development, hosted the ceremony and said it marks the maturing of a close and enduring relationship.
“Working closely with our allies and partner nations is an essential element in our national strategies,” D’costa said.
“Both of our nations conduct military activities abroad. During any of these activities, personnel can be isolated, detained or captured, requiring them to survive, escape, resist or evade.”
“We must work together, with our allies and partners, to mitigate risk.” D’costa said.
Royal Marine Maj. Gen. Jim Morris spoke, saying the flag-posting ceremony formalized the partnership between the U.S., the UK and Germany, going forward.
“It’s important personally, because, like many, I have been on the front lines and I know that when we commit young men and women forward, into harm’s way, we need an interoperable way of getting our people back, should the need arise.”
“Looking after them is a national, moral responsibility, to make sure we have thought through how we might look after them,” he said.