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31st FW Command Post wins two Major Command Annual Awards

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  • By Lt. Col. Christopher Cass, 31st FW CP command and control operations chief
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 31st Fighter Wing Command Post capped off a very busy year with the notification that they are the recipient of two Major Command awards. Firstly, Master Sgt. Melvyn Thompson, 31st FW CP noncommissioned officer in charge of command and control (C2) operations training, was the recipient of the United States Air Forces in Europe Air Forces in Africa (USAFE-AFA) Unit Level C2 Operations Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year for 2021. But not to be outdone, the 31st FW CP was recognized as USAFE-AFA’s Large Nuclear Command Post of the Year for 2021.

These awards represent the culmination of over twenty base level, higher headquarters and multi-national exercises throughout the year. During this time period, the Command Post received, processed and disseminated 438 North Atlantic Treaty Organization surety messages resulting in the successful generation of one billion dollars’ worth of multi-national assets spanning 11 NATO members. These multi-national exercises stress tested the 31st FW’s ability to rapidly generate, employ and recover assets that directly support NATO missions and demonstrate the capability to integrate with NATO allies and coalition partners. The Command Post has a direct role in the very critical few moments of initial crisis notifications as well as one of a kind role in directly generating air assets for NATO missions.

The surety mission wasn’t the only way the Command Post capabilities were stressed over the year. There were 14 other exercises that run the gamut of base defense exercises, active threats and natural disasters. 

During these times, the Command Post operated superfluously in promulgating thousands of time-sensitive exercise notifications, posturing a base populace of more than 6,300 members to be prepared to react and respond to the full spectrum of threats.

“Being in the Command Post is both a challenging and rewarding experience,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Maline, 31st FW CP nuclear command and control operations superintendent. “We have a well-rounded team that includes a large number of cross-trainees that bring a diverse set of experiences to everything that we do. One neat thing we’ve seen with local cross-trainees is the potential for them to remain in Aviano for another two years after graduating tech school – this gives us a chance to really take advantage of their experiences here to our benefit.”

If you’re interested in Command Post cross-training opportunities, contact Senior Master Sgt. Maline at