Our Staff

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the JAPCC is sponsored by 16 NATO nations who provide a variety of experienced Subject Matter Experts (SME) that come from all three services. Through its multi-discipline organization, the JAPCC chooses the most suitable SMEs for the task and combines their knowledge and experience to fully contribute to transforming NATO’s A&S Power. More importantly, the JAPCC is not constrained by the need for consensus or by political expediency in developing ideas. It can offer independent military advice across the spectrum of A&S Power to NATO HQs and national policy-making bodies.

Directorate

General

James B. Hecker

Director 

Gen. James B. Hecker is the Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe; Commander, U.S. Air Forces Africa; Commander, Allied Air Command, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre, Kalkar, Germany. He is responsible for the air and missile defense of 30 NATO alliance member...

Lieutenant General

Thorsten Poschwatta

Executive Director 

Since December 2021, Lieutenant General Poschwatta is the Commander of the German Air Operations Command and the Executive Director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany.

Air Commodore

Paul Herber

Assistant Director 

Air Commodore Paul Herber started his military career as a conscript in 1985 as a Battery Control Officer, Short Range Air Defence. For six years he held a variety of positions in Ground Based Air Defence (Flycatcher, HAWK) at Volkel Air Base at squadron level. As a captain, he then...

Branch Heads

Colonel

Maurizio De Angelis

Branch Head 
C4ISR

Colonel Maurizio De Angelis currently serves as C4 ISR Branch Head at the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) in Kalkar, Germany. He joined the Italian Air Force Academy in 1990 and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Federico II University of Naples. He graduated as a Military Pilot...

Lieutenant Colonel

Heiner Grest

Branch Head 
Space

Lieutenant Colonel Heiner Grest is currently the acting Branch Head of JAPCC’s 2020 established Space Branch. He began his military career in 1982 as a conscript. Throughout his career, he has been working in various command and staff positions in Ground-Based Air and Missile Defence and diverse national staff positions....

Colonel

Erik Rab

Branch Head 
Air Operations Support

Colonel Erik Rab has been assigned to the JAPCC as the Branch Head Air Operations Support since November 2020. During his previous assignment he was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Directorate-General of Policy at the Ministry of Defence in The Hague. Col Rab was commissioned by the RNLAF Officer...

Colonel

Thomas Schroll

Branch Head 
Assessment, Coordination, and Engagement

Colonel Thomas Schroll started his military career in 1989 and was trained as a ground-based air defence officer. He went through general staff training at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College and the UK’s Joint Services Command and Staff College, and has subsequently served in national and international...

Subject Matter Experts

Major

Arda Ayan

Subject Matter Expert 
Space

Major Arda Ayan graduated from the Turkish Air Force Academy in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and was stationed as a SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) officer at the 6th Main Jet Base Anti-Aircraft Battalion Command. Following his Master’s degree in Space Sciences, in 2014 he was...

Major

Massimo Di Milia

Subject Matter Expert 
Air Transport

Major Di Milia Massimo Di Milia joined the Italian AF in 2004. He was trained by the USAF and qualified as Military Pilot in 2009. Flying cargo and airlift missions on C-130’s throughout his operational career, he obtained all combat qualifications including assault landing, NVGs, cargo and parachute drops, either...

Lieutenant Colonel

Denis Dúbravčík

Subject Matter Expert 
Plans, Concepts, Development and Vision

Lieutenant Colonel Denis Dúbravčík enlisted in the Czech Air Force in 1996. He graduated from the Brno Military Academy with a BSc in Military Rocket and Aircraft Systems and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering. He is a graduate of Squadron Offices School Maxwell Airbase US. He served, among other functions,...

Lieutenant Colonel

Francesco Esposito

Subject Matter Expert 
Precision Guided Munitions

Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Esposito joined the Italian Air Force in 1990, joining the Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli (Italy). He was trained with the US Air Force SUNT program in Randolph AFB (TX) and subsequently graduated as a Tornado Navigator/Weapon System Operator in Cottesmore (UK) in 1996. As an...

Lieutenant Colonel

Andre Haider

Subject Matter Expert 
Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

Lieutenant Colonel André Haider is an artillery officer by trade with over fifteen years’ experience in command & control and operational planning. He is the JAPCC’s Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Subject Matter Expert for more than ten years and represents the JAPCC in the NATO Joint Capability Group Unmanned Aircraft Systems...

Lieutenant Colonel

Rafael Ichaso

Subject Matter Expert 
Manned Air (Fixed Wing)

LtColRafael Ichaso joined the Spanish Air ForceAcademy, San Javier, in 1993. He completed the Basic Pilot Training in 1997, and the Fighter Weapons course at the 23rd Wing in 1998. He flew the EF-18 in the 15th Fighter Wing, Zaragoza AFB in the 151 SQN from 1998 to 2007. In...

Lieutenant Colonel

Eric Jodoin

Subject Matter Expert 
Cyberspace Operations

Lieutenant-Colonel Jodoin holds a Master of Science in Information Security Engineering (MSISE) from the SANS Technology Institute and has accumulated over a decade of experience in the planning and conduct of cyberspace operations. His experience include a tour as director of operations at the Canadian Forces Network Operations Center (CFNOC),...

Major

Fotios Kanellos

Subject Matter Expert 
Cyberspace Operations

Major Fotios Kanellos graduated from the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Academy in 2003 as an Electrical Engineer specializing in Telecommunications and Computer Science. He holds three Master degrees, one in Technical-Economic Systems from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), one in Environmental Sciences from the University of Patras and...

Major

Brian Ladd

Subject Matter Expert 
Space

Major Brian Ladd graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and received his commission by AFROTC. His first tour was at the 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs, CO, where he was a Satellite Operator of the MILSTAR communications...

Commander

Andrea Magi

Subject Matter Expert 
Maritime Air and Carrier Operations

Commander Andrea Magi joined the Italian Navy in 1990. After serving on board frigates and the ITS Garibaldi as the Electronic Warfare Officer, he was assigned to the Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati, the Italian Navy Harrier AV8B+ Squadron, as Intelligence Officer and served on board Italian Navy aircraft carriers. In 2014,...

Major

Mark Meeuwissen

Subject Matter Expert 
Air Operations Planning

Major Mark Meeuwissen graduated from the Royal Military Academy Brussels in 1988 with a Master in Military and Aeronautical Science. His carrier as pilot was performed on F-16 in the Fighter-Bomber role and on NATO AWACS up to pilot-evaluator. On both platforms, he participated multiple times in several operations: Operation...

Lieutenant Colonel

Roy Milke

Subject Matter Expert 
Education & Training

Lieutenant Colonel Roy Milke joined the military in 1979. He completed his training as Surface-Based Air Defence Officer in 1983. This was fol­lowed by three months of special training on SA-5 (Gatschina, Soviet Union). From 1984 through 1992 he served in various SA-5 unit functions. After retraining on the Patriot...

Major

Charilaos Nikou

Subject Matter Expert 
Electronic Warfare and SEAD

Major Charilaos Nikou graduated from the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Academy with a BSc in Aeronautics in 2003. He holds two MScs in Business Administration from the Technical University of Crete, GR, and International Affairs from Nicosia University of Cyprus. He is a graduate of the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP)....

Lieutenant Colonel

Isaiah Oppelaar

Subject Matter Expert 
Air-to-Air Refueling

Lieutenant Colonel Isaiah L. Oppelaar is the Air Mobility Strategist, Joint Air Power Competence Centre (NATO), in Kalkar, Germany. In this role, he executes the JAPCC Program of Work for air mobility including leading the Global Air to Air Refuelling interoperability and compatibility efforts, supporting AIRCOM’s Specialized Heavy Air Refuelling...

Wing Commander (ret.)

Jez Parkinson

Subject Matter Expert 
Force Protection

Wing Commander (ret.) Jez Parkinson is a RAF Regiment Officer with 33-years’ regular Service; over half in the Multinational environment and in excess of 7-years on operations. He continues to work as a Reservist in the Force Protection Environment and as a civilian on Asset Protection collaborating with the military,...

Lieutenant Colonel

Berry Pronk

Subject Matter Expert 
Air & Missile Defence

Lieutenant Colonel Pronk has served for over 40 years in the Royal Netherlands armed forces and has completed operational tours during operations Desert Storm, NATO Display Deterrence (US Operation Iraqi Freedom) and in SFOR, former Yugoslavia. He served in various national command and training positions, in the realm of Surface-Based...

Lieutenant Colonel

Marco Sampimon

Subject Matter Expert 
Analysis and Lessons Learned, Exercise Support

Lieutenant Colonel Marco Sampimon is the primary point of contact within the JAPCC for Exercises and Lessons Learned. He is also JAPCC’s permanent liaison to NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger. As JAPCC’s Exercise coordinator, he is actively involved with the development and scripting of NATO exercises as Ramstein Ambition...

Lieutenant Colonel

Andreas Schmidt

Subject Matter Expert 
Air & Missile Defence

joined the German Air Force in 1993. After attending Officers School, he studied Computer Science at the German Armed Forces University in Munich. Since 1998 he built up an extensive background in Ground Based Air Defence, particularly the PATRIOT weapon system. He started as a Tactical Control Officer and subsequently...

Major

Eelco Tolsma

Subject Matter Expert 
Joint Personnel Recovery, Joint Rotary Wing

Major Eelco S.Tolsma joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1987 to become a helicopter pilot. After earning his wings he started his flying career at 300 squadron at Deelen AB which he soon left to join 303 Search and Rescue Squadron at Leeuwarden AB in the northern part of...

Major

Giuseppe Valentino

Subject Matter Expert 
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Major Giuseppe Valentino started his career in 1992 joining the Italian Air Force NCO School in Caserta. During his service worked in E.W. group as an Intelligence Analyst and had two tours to Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and was responsible for analysis and production in the Deployed Intelligence Cell. In 2005, he...

Lieutenant Colonel

Frans van de Weerd

Subject Matter Expert 
Logistics

Lieutenant Colonel Van de Weerd has served for more than 40 years in the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). He served in various fighter related weapon system support positions at depots and staff positions at the RNLAF Headquarters and the Defense Material Command. He dealt with Foreign Military Sales challenges...

Lieutenant Colonel

Jürgen Welsch

Subject Matter Expert 
Command & Control and Air Battle Management

Lieutenant Colonel Juergen Welsch joined the German Air Force in 1984. In 1990 he gained a Bachelor Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the Hochschule der Bundeswehr Muenchen. From 1990 on, Lieutenant Colonel Welsch worked in multiple operational- and staff positions within the field of AIRC2. In 2003, he switched to...

Support Staff

Sergeant Major

Björn Aarts

Support Staff, 
Publications, Promotions & Communications

Sergeant Major Aarts joined the forces in 2000 and, in July 2002, completed the Specialist Ground Defence Training and was assigned to Volkel Air Base as Group Commander within a Security Wing. In 2005, he became Training Sergeant of a Security Wing. In 2008, he was appointed as a Junior...

Mr

Simon Ingram

Support Staff, 
Publications, Promotions & Communications

For over 15 years, Mr Ingram has carried out the function as Chief Publications, Promotions and Communications and Section Head, informing and advising JAPCC staff and external authors on all aspects of publishing. Mr Ingram is principally responsible for developing and creating the organization’s Publications (covering promotion communications and engagement...

Captain Commander

Daniel Teletin

Support Staff, 
Assistant Editor and Public Affairs

Captain Commander Teletin joined the Romanian armed forces in 1996. He graduated from the Romanian Military Technical Academy in 2001 as an aircraft maintenance officer specialized on weapons, munitions and egress systems. Henceforth he served on various positions at the 95th Air Force Base, Bacau, Romania. Starting in Oct. 2008,...

Major

Andreas Wurster

Support Staff, 
Research, Analysis & Intelligence Support

Major Wurster joined the German Armed Forces in 1993. He served as Military Security NCO in a Mechanized Infantry Battalion. In 2000 he became a Warrant Officer and attended officer training for three years, including a two-year study in economic computer science at the Bundeswehr College for business and computer...

Contact Us

Contact Information

Joint Air Power Competence Centre
Römerstrasse 140
47546 Kalkar
Germany

+49 (0) 2824 90 2201

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