PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ARMED FORCES OF MALTA

Reference Number: pr2437, Press Release Issue Date: Dec 14, 2011
 
AFM team delivers Search and Rescue training to Israeli Authorities
 
On the specific request of Israel, a team of four AFM SAR personnel travelled to Israel to deliver a one month Search and Rescue (SAR) training package to a number of Israeli organisations that are responsible or involved in Maritime SAR. This commenced on 13 November and came to its successful conclusion on 8 December 2011. 
 
Such a development was a natural progression over the success achieved after a group of five Israeli maritime professionals were trained in Malta as SAR Mission Coordinators in March 2009 at the Maritime Safety and Security Training Centre.  That training had enabled the setting up of Haifa Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) and its official inauguration later on that year.
 
The aim of the AFM Mobile Training Team was to reach the whole Israeli SAR structure with specialized courses being delivered simultaneously.  Such courses included instruction to SAR Administrators who are the national lead of the SAR System, SAR Mission Coordinators who manage day to day operations within RCC Haifa and On-Scene Commanders who command operations out at sea.  Participants to the courses hailed from top officials of the Maritime Administration to officers from the Israeli Defence Force, Port Authorities and shipping companies.  In addition, an Operational Maritime Law Awareness Course was delivered to Lawyers and senior staff of the Maritime Administration.  In total, 40 individuals benefitted of these training opportunities.
 
The enthusiasm of all the participants and the experience and energy of the training team were vital elements to make this a resounding success that augurs well for enhanced actions to save the lives of persons in distress in Israeli waters and better SAR Coordination in the region in general.  This is supported by the fact that personnel from JRCC Cyprus which regularly cooperates with RCC Haifa, have also been trained in Malta by the AFM and are thus utilising similar SAR procedures to those now taken up by Israel.