Col Vincent J. O'Connor
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Col. Kevin Crofton is the the Commander, 31st Operations Group, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy. The Operations Group consists of seven squadrons that continually support operations and exercises across three Combatant Commands. The wide-ranging operational capabilities are brought by Airmen from the 31st Operations Support Squadron, 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons, 731 Expeditionary Attack Squadron, 510th and 555th Fighter Squadrons, and the 606th Air Control Squadron.
Col Crofton received his commission through the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2001. He has held a variety of flying positions to include F-16 fighter squadron commander, F-16 instructor pilot, flight examiner, and weapons officer, and F/A-18 instructor at the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). He has flown combat missions in support of operations in Iraq and Syria.
Prior to his current assignment, Col Crofton was the Senior Military Evaluator for Air Warfare Systems for the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation Office on the Secretary of Defense Staff, Washington, D.C.
2001 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2008 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2008 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
2011 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2011 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2019 Master of National Security and Resource Strategy, Eisenhower School, Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C.
2021 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. February 2002 - September 2002, Student Pilot, 3rd Flying Training Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
2. September 2002 - April 2003, Student Pilot, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
3. April 2003 - April 2004, Student Pilot, 182nd Fighter Squadron, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas
4. May 2004 - October 2006, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Activity Security Monitor, 79th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
5. November 2006 - June 2008, F-16 Instructor Pilot, F-16 Flight Examiner, Flight Commander, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, South Korea
6. July 2008 - December 2008 – Student, F-16 Division, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
7. January 2009 - February 2011, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Weapons Officer, 77th Fighter Squadron and 20th Operational Support Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
8. February 2011 - September 2011, F/-18 Transition Pilot, Strike Fighter Squadron 106, Naval Air Station Ocean, Va.
9. September 2011 - May 2014, F/A-18 and F-16 Instructor Pilot, Assistant Director of Operations, TOPGUN, Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev.
10. May 2014 - June 2015, Chief, Senior Leader Management, Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
11. June 2015 - August 2018, F-16 Instructor Pilot, F-16 Flight Examiner, Director of Operations, Commander, Chief of Safety, 55th Fighter Squadron and 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
12. August 2018 - June 2019, Student, Eisenhower School, Fort Leslie J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
13. June 2019 - May 2020, Deputy Chief, Joint Operations Division Southern Hemisphere, J-3, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
14. May 2020 - June 2021, Senior Military Evaluator, Air Warfare, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
15. July 2021 - Present, Commander, 31st Operations Group, Aviano Air Base, Italy
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2019 - May 2020, Deputy Chief, Joint Operations Division Southern Hemisphere, J-3, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. as a lieutenant colonel
2. May 2020 - June 2021, Senior Military Evaluator, Air Warfare, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. as a lieutenant colonel and colonel
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: more than 3,000
Combat Hours: 515
Aircraft flown: F-16 A/B/C/D and F/A-18 A/B/C/D/E/F
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 2001
First Lieutenant May 30, 2003
Captain May 30, 2005
Major May 1, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel February 1, 2015
Colonel Feb 1, 2021
(Current as of July 2021)