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Update on Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program

WICHITA FALLS, TX - The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program's steering committee meets twice a year -- one of those times at Sheppard Air Force Base.

"I'm just coordinating all of the effort that all the nation and the representatives from all of the nations are doing during the meeting. We'll just discuss frankly and honestly of what the problems are and we can find a solution that speaks to all nations," Italian A.F. Brig. Gen. Vincenzo Nuzzo, Steering Committee Chairman, said.

There are 13 NATO countries involved in ENJJPT, which are responsible for guiding what the committee does.

"They fund us. They provide the leadership that allows us to determine what our training should be for our pilots that we have here. So, when we do a steering committee, the members of each of those countries will come together and meet and discuss what we have been accomplishing and what they would like us to be able to do in the future," Colonel Gregory Keeton, 80th Flying Training Wing Commander, said.

And, it is possible a new NATO partner was in attendance this week. 

"The update is actually another nation, Romania, is probably coming on-board. We are very delighted about that and, you know, we have developed new and we are looking into new training programs just to keep our pilots to receive the best training as possible," Gen. Nuzzo said.

As far as what leaders think about the NATO alliance -- after questions by President Donald Trump surrounding its cost for America compared to what other countries pay.....

"I think it is vital. In my opinion, this program is an excellent example of NATO actually paying for what they do and paying their fair share. It's a great opportunity for the tax payer and the United States to share the burden with a lot of the partners that come in here because they pay for things like runway repair -- anything that we need for the program that's accomplished is paid for by partner funding," Col. Keeton.

They said a vital alliance -- with one its key programs housed at Sheppard.

Leaders predict Romania will join the training program before the next committee meeting in September. They believe that nation will make ENJJPT even stronger and secure in the future.

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