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    European Partnership Integration Enterprise Opens New Facility



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Stephen Ocenosak 

    U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa   

    Seven partner nations celebrated the opening of the new European Partnership Integration Enterprise (EPIE) facility at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sep. 24, 2018. EPIE collaboratively paves the way in coalition intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, melding the capabilities of intelligence professionals from Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and U.S. under one roof.

    Gaining three times more space in this new facility, U.S. Air Force Col. Kurt Wendt, U.S. Air Forces in Europe Director of Intelligence, talked with Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, about opening day before the ceremony.

    “Not the first time he’s heard me talk about it,” Wendt said in his comments to the crowd, “as a matter of fact he’s heard me talk about it a lot, and I told him that I’m confident that when I look into the eyes of every single individual, who works in EPIE on a day to day basis, they are going to be all smiles today because we are no longer in that old dirty bunker over across the way.”

    Applause filled the room. Wendt continued on and thanked the leadership from the partner nations that made the new facility possible. He also commented on the official origins of EPIE going back to 2011 during Odyssey Dawn in Libya, with remnants of it in 1999 and Operation Allied Force.

    “I spent time at the combined air operations center in Vicenza working with partners from every single nation that is represented here at EPIE. We had a very large coalition especially for that time, and we did great things,” Wendt said. “Fast forward though twelve years to 2011 and when operations began in Libya some of those lessons that we learned in ’99 were lost and so it was like we were starting from scratch. So the idea of how we can train better together, how we can work better together, how we can prepare better together at this thing we now call the EPIE was born.”

    When EPIE started it was a 90 percent American operation with about 10 percent partner nations sprinkled in with it. Now it is roughly a 90/10 mix with coalition taking more of the lead and Americans providing support and assistance. Touting this coalition effort, Wendt mentioned EPIE’s success in the recent Unified Vision 18 exercise where EPIE afforded the opportunity to introduce a Lithuanian analyst to an entirely new array of systems, machines, and technical capabilities, which combined with that analyst's premier expertise, proved critically important. "Pair those analysts with a British technical expert, who knows everything about how to use the systems and everything about how to write reports, and those two things together absolutely worked magic."

    “That is truly what makes EPIE great,” Wendt concluded. “I come back to our partners and everyone that is here. You are what makes EPIE possible, you are what makes EPIE great, I am just happy that we finally have a facility worthy of your contributions.”


    Date Taken: 09.24.2018
    Date Posted: 10.26.2018 03:50
    Story ID: 297660

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