Airmen Participate in Unified Engagement 2010
By Air Force Capt. Tony Wickman
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
TALLINN, Estonia, Jun. 9, 2010 U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials joined representatives from seven other countries here to participate in Unified Engagement 2010, which started June 7 and continues through June 11.
F-15E Strike Eagles sit on the ramp at the Tallinn airport on June 7, 2010, following a combined exercise featuring USAFE aircraft and Estonian joint terminal attack controllers prior to the start of Unified Engagement 2010 in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo courtesy of Estonian Defense Force Public Affairs
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Unified Engagement seminar is the fourth Building Partnership Seminar USAFE officials have conducted with European partners as a transformation war game to explore future combined warfighting concepts and capabilities.
The U.S. delegation, led by Gen. Roger A. Brady, the USAFE commander, is working with counterparts from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden to strengthen relationships, and improve interoperability and future cooperation.
"These meetings have been good for us and our allies and have proven productive and valuable," Brady said. "These sessions serve as effective discussions and are opportunities to share ideas, and for military professionals, particularly air forces, to share their perspectives."
Brady said the relationships established and the work accomplished at the seminar will allow everyone to come together quickly in crisis and effectively face the challenge.
"Because of training seminars like Unified Engagement, the U.S. Air Force and our partners worldwide are better prepared for future operational challenges," the general said. "Estonia is a great NATO partner and they are graciously hosting this meeting."
The seminar was an important opportunity to talk about operational endeavors, military advice and skills, said Brig. Gen. Valeri Saar, the Estonian air force commander, and the event co-host along with Maj. Gen. Jack Egginton, the USAFE Director of Air and Space Operations.
"The purpose of the meeting will address what role Estonia's air force should have, how to keep security in our region and how to be good neighbors," Saar said. "We will also look at new issues such as cyber security and energy, and the threats to them."
An example of working closely with allies for interoperability and future missions is the training between U.S. aircraft and Estonian joint terminal attack controllers.
"We brought in a couple of F-15E Strike Eagles from [Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England] to Estonia to train with Estonian JTACs who are on their way to Afghanistan," Egginton said. "They are training and using the same procedures as used in Afghanistan that will ultimately protect the Afghan people and NATO troops on the ground."
During the Unified Engagement seminar, participants act in the role of a multinational military staff, and consider possible requirements and concepts for operating together to meet potential future challenges. The participants look through the spectrum of operations from peace enforcement and humanitarian relief situations to cooperative security and stability operations.