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Aviano AB Develops Exceptional Leaders

Striving to be the Air Force’s most combat ready go-to Fighter Wing is no small feat. Day in and day out, members of Aviano Air Base from a variety of mission sets and ranks work together toward rapid readiness throughout the base’s surety enterprise.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Morgan Parker, 31st Munitions Squadron munitions accountable systems officer and special weapons flight commander, poses for a photo next to a weapons display at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 9, 2019. The 31st MUNS maintains a combat ready stockpile, people and equipment to support U.S. and NATO taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

Striving to be the Air Force’s most combat ready go-to Fighter Wing is no small feat. Day in and day out, members of Aviano Air Base from a variety of mission sets and ranks work together toward rapid readiness throughout the base’s surety enterprise.

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Nicolas Capriato, a prior 31st Security Forces Squadron assistant operations officer, poses for a photo at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 7, 2019. Capriato helped to lead a 400 member section to conduct surety operations and integrated defense in support of NATO’s strategic deterrence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

Striving to be the Air Force’s most combat ready go-to Fighter Wing is no small feat. Day in and day out, members of Aviano Air Base from a variety of mission sets and ranks work together toward rapid readiness throughout the base’s surety enterprise.

One such member, 2nd Lt. Nicolas Capriato, a prior 31st Security Forces Squadron assistant operations officer, helped to lead a 400 member section to conduct surety operations and integrated defense in support of NATO’s strategic deterrence mission.

Capriato said, “Our talented group of Defenders deters aggression, defends combat power and defeats the threat to ensure the only permanently assigned U.S Air Force fighter aircraft wing in NATO’s southern region is mission ready.”

The 31st SFS is responsible for many functions at Aviano, requiring leaders at all levels within the diverse unit.

Being an exceptional leader while being in one of the younger ranks is certainly a challenge.

“The job is definitely challenging and there is a lot of responsibility that accompanies it. But, there is nothing more inspiring when you have a leadership team at the unit, group and wing level that instill their trust in you and others across the base, especially with the mission we have at Aviano”, said Capriato.

While developing within the 31st SFS, Capriato also explained how units working together not only strengthens the 31st FW mission, but also the Air Force.

Capriato explained, “It takes a special group of people with diverse backgrounds to come together, balance different mission priorities and still perform at a high level. Aviano has absolutely knocked it out of the park in this area.”

With the responsibility of delivering security for the 31st FW and allied partners, Capriato credited his own exceptional leadership growth to Team Aviano.

Capriato said, “Working for a leadership team that has your back and empowers you to be innovative and bold is exactly what our Air Force needs and it is exactly what we have here at Aviano.”

Another exceptional leader, Capt. Morgan Parker, 31st Munitions Squadron munitions accountable systems officer and special weapons flight commander, expressed the importance of the working relationship that her team has with 31st SFS.

“We primarily work with Security Forces to plan, train, and execute our mission.  Safe, secure, reliable remains the driving priority and is our common objective.  We have a very efficient relationship with Security Forces because our training requirements are linked and our goals are aligned,” Parker said.

When it comes to the leadership skills that the 31st FW’s mission requires, Parker mentions her own team as inspiration to grow in her position for the future.

Parker said, “I get to learn the business from the remarkable Airmen in my flight, I get to witness firsthand the actions of MUNS, SF, and other supporting units, and I get a glimpse into the decision points and information flow at higher levels of leadership. This position has given me leadership tools that I will be able to build on for the remainder of my career.”