While the use of private military companies is publicly acknowledged by the United States government, there are non-government personnel performing covert activies that their employ is considered highly sensitive information. EPOCH was designed under the Reagan administration to handle tasks that would likely have dire legal and bureaucratic consequences.
EPOCH’s domain encompasses any troubleshooting that can be handled by small groups, whether internal investigations on US territory or foreign activities, from assassinations to aid. EPOCH is suspected in a number of significant foreign events, including aiding the Tamil Tigers in the assassination of Ranasinghe Premadasa to trafficking rockets to Hamas as an indirect means to strengthen Israel’s and the United States’ military stance in the Middle East.
Obviously the mere existence of EPOCH is known to very few in the United States government. Intelligence agencies have suspected the presence of an extra-legal group operating with significant resources, but powerful US officials quickly squash any inquiries that arise regarding the agency. Elected officials, as a rule, know nothing about the existence of EPOCH. Funding is siphoned off numerous agencies and departments, including practically every department withing the Department of Defense. Additional funds come from smuggling and recontracting EPOCH teams to outside bidders.
Cells, as they are known in EPOCH, rarely consist of more than 10 members. Each cells is given practically no information regarding the other cells, and they are all well aware that they could become a target themselves if their activities or interests stray outside of the ideals of EPOCH. Cell members are well versed in a wide manner of skills, and they are usually given free reign to exercise their unique skills in the execution of a mission. Of course, knowledge of any cell member, the existence of a cell, or the existence of EPOCH would be denied as a flight of fancy or delusion if an EPOCH official were to be found or questioned—an already unlikely feat.