Colonel Brian D. Vlaun is Vice Commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. As Vice Commander, he is responsible for the health and welfare of roughly 4,900 active duty members, 500 civilian employees, and 6,000 family members. He also assists with overseeing operations involving the wing's fleet of B-52 bombers to provide deterrence and long-range strike capability for combatant command operations worldwide.
Prior to assuming his current position, Colonel Vlaun was the Division Head, Training and Exercises at NATO Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC), Torrejón Air Base, Spain, where he was responsible for strategic, operational, and contingency oversight of all publications, regulations, policy, and training for the peacetime Air Policing Command and Control mission of the CAOC Torrejón, the contingency planning and operations mission of the NATO Joint Force Air Component, and the Tactical Evaluation program.
Colonel Vlaun received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1998. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is a command pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours in the B-1. He has flown combat missions in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
1998 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2005 Squadron Officers’ School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2007 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2010 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Military Operational Art and Science, ACSC, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 M.Phil, Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Air War College, by correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 PH.D., Military Strategy, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 Joint Force Air Component Leadership Seminar, NATO Air Command and Control Center of Excellence, Limonest, France
1. July 1998–February 1999, Wing Scheduling Officer, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
2. February 1999–February 2000, Student, Joint Flying Training, NAS Whiting Field, Fla.
3. February 2000–September 2000, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
4. September 2000–June 2001, B-1 FTU Student, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
5. June 2001–July 2006, B-1 Pilot, Chief of Safety; later Flight Commander, 37th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
6. July 2006–February 2007, Chief, Weapons & Tactics, B-1 Instructor Pilot, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
7. February 2007–July 2009, Flight Commander, Weapons School Instructor, 77th Weapons Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
8. August 2009–June 2010, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell, AFB, Ala.
9. July 2010–June 2011, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. June 2011–June 2012, Airpower Strategist, Skunk Works, Directorate, Operational Planning, Policy & Strategy, Pentagon, Va.
11. June 2012–June 2013, Airpower Strategist, Chief of Staff’s Strategic Studies Group (SSG), Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Va.
12. June 2013–May 2014, Director of Operations, 77th Weapons Squadron, USAF Weapons School, Dyess AFB, Texas
13. May 2014–May 2016, Commander, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
14. June 2016–July 2017, Air Force Lorenz Fellow, Air University, Washington D.C.
15. July 2017-July 2019, Division Head, Training and Exercises and US Senior National Representative, NATO Combined Air
Operations Center, Torrejón Air Base, Spain
16. July 2019–Present, Vice Commander, 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,200, including 500 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: B-1B, T-34, and T-38
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant May 27, 2000
Captain May 27, 2002
Major December 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 2013
Colonel May 1, 2018
(Current as of July 2019)