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Air Force rewards outstanding munitions unit

by Senior Airman Katherine Windish
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/9/2012 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) -- Members of the 31st Munitions Squadron at Aviano Air Base recently earned the Air Force's 2011 Maintenance Effectiveness Award, excelling in all graded areas, particularly after acting as the lead munitions squadron for NATO forces during Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.

"We possess an incredibly talented squadron of armament and munitions professionals who are grounded in Air Force core values, foster a desire to be the expert in their [fields] and are focused on developing Airmen," said Maj. Jason Vattioni, 31st MUNS commander.

The 31st MUNS competed against other Air Force units based on its accomplishments in maintaining aircraft armament, combat-ready munitions stockpiles, weapons security, storage and handling equipment.

In fiscal year 2011, the 31st MUNS supported three combatant commands by deploying more than 50 Airmen to provide munitions for 36 fighter aircraft and help generate roughly 3,700 combat sorties.

Back on the home front, the squadron also acted as the lead NATO munitions unit during Operation Odyssey Dawn, building 557 bombs for the operation. The unit also participated in Operation Unified Protector, providing munitions for 1,800 sorties flown by joint and coalition partners deployed to Aviano.

"The most important contributing factor in winning this award was the deliberate, disciplined, and precise mission execution of our armament and munitions personnel," said Vattioni. "[This was] enabled by the tireless support of our amazing families, one-of-a-kind key spouses, and the incredible maintenance and mission support professionals we have the privilege to work with day-to-day."

In addition to the combat operations at Aviano and at their deployed locations, munitions Airmen also volunteered their time with Operation Yellow Ribbon, feeding roughly 400 deployers laid over at Aviano's passenger terminal. They also helped out with the Airmen's Attic, Aviano Motorcycle Rider's Association, Toys for Tots and the base's "Trunk-or-treat" event.

"I am very proud of the Airmen in our squadron," said Vattioni. "They earned this award through integrity, service before self and excellence in every mission set they executed. Winning this award is a testament to their hard work, the dedication of their families and the unmatched team of professional maintainers and support personnel they work with every day."

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