Lookback by our mayor

Col. Jenise M. Carroll, 31st Mission Support Group commander, celebrates her group's achievements May 30, 2017, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Carroll wrote a commentary on the milestones and success of the units she leads. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

Col. Jenise M. Carroll, 31st Mission Support Group commander, celebrates her group's achievements May 30, 2017, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Carroll wrote a commentary on the milestones and success of the units she leads. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cary Smith)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Since 2015, I’ve had the distinct privilege and honor of commanding the 31st Mission Support Group, which supports the 31st Fighter Wing defend U.S. and NATO interest, deter aggression and develop Team Aviano.

As the Mayor of Aviano, I’m responsible for leading seven units to the successful execution of the Air Force’s No. 1 fighter wing mission. Let me touch on a few of those units.

31st Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen develop Aviano’s long-range infrastructure while maintaining and sustaining more than 1,700 facilities. Perhaps two of CES’s most distinguished missions are explosive ordnance disposal and firefighting. EOD technicians are responsible for high-level explosive ordnance disposal support around the world. During the past 12 months, Aviano firefighters were called upon to support the local community during 15 off-base emergencies.

The 31st Communication Squadron keeps the wing and up and running. They’re also responsible for 27 globally separated units that support remotely piloted aircraft and presidential-level communication capabilities. The squadron remains vigilant and ready to defend our networks from the thousands of unexpected cyber threats.

The 31st Contracting Squadron ensures the wing has the necessary commercial support and supplies needed to operate. Seeking innovative ways to improve support for Papa Air Base, Hungary, the squadron eliminated more than $271,000 in redundant contract costs and improved furnishing management office support by more than 15 percent.

Speaking of Papa, our Detachment 1 Airmen support the Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing by overseeing personnel actions, communications, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, school liaison, and postal support for more than 100 service members and their families.

The 31st Force Support Squadron cares for Airmen and their families at the child development center, youth center programs. The squadron also develops Airmen and spouses in the first term Airmen center, Airman leadership school, and key spouse programs.

Receiving and delivering fuels, parts, and people, in support of planned and unplanned global deployments and permanent changes of stations stretches the 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron to the limits. Without fail, the squadron delivers every time. On average, the squadron dispenses more than 15 million gallons of fuel and arranges travel arrangements for more than 2,900 personnel annually. All of this is was accomplished with approximately 47 percent of the squadron deployed.

Without a doubt, the most visible unit is the 31st Security Forces Squadron. The first to greet you at the gates, our defenders are truly the face of the base. Recently they had a unique opportunity to participate in Exercise Praetorian Spade 2017. For approximately 30 days, more than 400 defenders engaged their adversary. Every time, our defenders pushed them on their heels. We can rest assured the defenders are protecting this house.

As I depart Aviano this July, serving as your Mayor has been one remarkable journey. I have witnessed 2,151 Airmen, civilian, and local nationals turn the ordinary into the extraordinary while delivering unmatched world-class support around the clock. As our Airmen and civilians come and go, it’s the hard work of our local nationals that form the true tapestry of our commitment to Aviano Air Base and our surrounding communities. I wish each of you a fond farewell.