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COMUSAFE visits Aviano

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Leadership from the 31st Fighter Wing salutes U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, as they arrive at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 24, 2021. Harrigian and Blais toured the 31st FW facilities and got hands-on experience with the 31st Fighter Wing mission to deter through safe, secure, and effective operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, left, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief, builds an inert munition at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 24, 2021. During the immersion tour, Blais viewed a hands-on bomb build with the ‘Bouncing Bettys’ and discussed various topics with 31st Maintenance Group Airmen. Blais directs enlisted theater security engagement efforts and builds partnership capacity in 104 countries across 19 million square miles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, left, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief, builds an inert munition with the ‘Bouncing Bettys’ Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 24, 2021. Blais is the senior enlisted advisor to the commander on all matters affecting the readiness, training, professional development, and effective utilization of more than 21,000 enlisted force personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, uses a virtual reality headset at the 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 25, 2021. During the immersion tour, Harrigian was briefed on the counter unmanned aerial systems and how they are used to defend the 31st Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, take off in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 25, 2021. Harrigian and Blais immersed themselves with a few of the squadrons from the 31st FW, meeting with Airmen and getting a closer look at the diverse mission set and the importance of Aviano’s location and priorities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Savannah L. Waters)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief, speaks with members of the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 25, 2021. He is the senior enlisted advisor to the commander on all matters affecting the readiness, training, professional development, and effective utilization of more than 21,000 enlisted force personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, speak to Airmen from the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 56th Helicopter Maintenance Unit, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 25, 2021. Harrigian and Blais immersed themselves with a few of the squadrons from the 31st FW, meeting with Airmen and getting a closer look at the diverse mission set and the importance of Aviano’s location and priorities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Savannah L. Waters)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief, speaks with Senior Airman Dameon Scott, 56th Rescue Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 25, 2021. Blais is the senior enlisted advisor to the commander on all matters affecting the readiness, training, professional development, and effective utilization of more than 21,000 enlisted force personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Savannah L. Waters)

COMUSAFE visits Aviano

Tech. Sgt. Ashley Lett, middle, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrical and environmental systems craftsman, briefs Chief Master Sgt. Brion P. Blais, left, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief, on the Airmen 4 Life program at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 24, 2021. During the tour, Blaise built an inert munition with the ‘Bouncing Bettys’ and discussed various topics with 31st Maintenance Group Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brion Blais, USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, visited Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 24-25, and familiarized themselves with the 31st Fighter Wing’s current mission and operations.

“I saw an ability of the team [here] to come together as Airmen and understand the mission, and deliver it in a fashion that demonstrates nothing but excellence,” Harrigian said. “I had an opportunity to fly with [the 56th RQS], as well as interface with some of the maintainers on the F-16 Fighting Falcon side of the house, and was really impressed with the Airmen and their understanding of the mission.”

Harrigian and Blais immersed themselves with a few of the squadrons from the 31st FW, meeting with Airmen and getting a closer look at the diverse mission set and the importance of Aviano’s location and priorities.

“I’ve been impressed by the wing’s ability to still deliver the mission, and in some cases delivering 120 percent of the mission, while powering through this difficult time,” Harrigan said. “At the end of the day, I have great confidence in the team here that they will continue to execute the mission.”

While here, he and Blais also focused on USAFE-AFAFRICA’s Agile Combat Employment concept, and learned how Aviano has incorporated this concept into its everyday operations.

ACE focuses on developing Airmen to adapt to situations outside of their normal day-to-day duties by becoming multi-capable Airmen while improving mission readiness and increasing capabilities in less than optimal environments.

“What I saw over the last day and a half is the innovative thinking that is ongoing here at Aviano,” Harrigian said. “Applying the ACE concept to the wing here and then down into the squadron gave us the feedback we needed and gave me great insight into how they’re tackling this challenge and coming up with solutions.”

Every Airman is essential to mission success, whether that means maintaining installation force protection or executing base deployment operations. Wyverns are executing these capabilities every day while sustaining the capability to deploy personnel and cargo in support of the 31st FW mission to deter through safe, secure and effective operations.

“I want to tell everyone thank you,” Harrigan said. “The team here has demonstrated resiliency to a level that I think not many fully understand. I fully recognize the challenges you’ve all faced, and the ability to take care of each other and still find ways to connect is really the essence of what’s going on here at Aviano. I’m impressed with the ability to still deliver the mission.”