COL Eric A. Vanek

Brigade Commander

Colonel Eric A. Vanek grew up in Plymouth, New Hampshire and received his commission in 1997 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.


His military education includes: Aviation Officer Basic Course, the Combined Arms Service Staff School, the Aviation Captains Course, 160th Green Platoon, the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Aircraft Qualification Courses for OH-58 A/C, UH-60, UH-60M, MH-60L, and UH-72, SERE High Risk Level C Course, Mountain Warfare School, and both the Airborne and Air Assault Schools.


COL Vanek has served in a variety of assignments that include: Flight Platoon Leader with L Company l-159th Aviation Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1998-2000); Brigade Current Operations Officer with 18th Aviation Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina (2000-2001); Executive Officer with C Company 52nd Aviation Regiment (A VIM), Camp Humphreys, Korea (2002-2003); Flight Platoon Leader with A Company, 31160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Company Commander of HHC, 31160th; Company Commander of C, 31160th, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia (2003-2009); Battalion Operations and Executive Officer with 3-IOlst, Fort Campbell, Kentucky (2010-2012); Joint Aviation Planner, USSOCOM, MacDill AFB, Florida (2013- 2016); Battalion Commander of 2916th Aviation Battalion, Fort Irwin, California (2016- 2018); Director of Operations, USASOAC, Fort Bragg, North Carolina (21018-2019); Army War College Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (2019-2020) publishing "We are running out of time to pivot to the Pacific."; Deputy Commanding General of the Security Force Assistance Command (SFAC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and is currently serving as the Commander, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Hunter Army Airfield, GA.


COL Vanek's awards include: the Bronze Star Medal; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal; the Air Medal; the Army Commendation Medal; the Army Achievement Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; the Kosovo Campaign Medal; the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals; the Korean Defense Service Medal; the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Service Ribbon; the United Nations Medal; as well as the Combat Action Badge; the Army Master Aviator Badge; Airborne and Air Assault Badges.




CSM Jason "Jake" Huff

Brigade Command Sergeant Major


Command Sergeant Major Jason “Jake” Huff joined the Wyoming Army National Guard on 16 April 1989 from Cheyenne, Wyoming and conducted Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After completing high school in 1990, he attended Advanced Individual Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama and was awarded the Military Occupational Skill of 93P, Aviation Operations Specialist. On 6 March 1995, Command Sergeant Major Huff entered the active duty Army.

CSM Huffs’ assignments include Aviation Operations Specialist 1022nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Cheyenne, Wyoming; Aviation Operations NCO, Hunter Army Airfield and Wright Army Airfield, Georgia; Section Sergeant, 542nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Camp Page, Korea; Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Aviation Resource Management Survey (ARMS) Team, 8th U.S. Army, USAG Yongsan, Korea; Air NCO and Battalion Operations NCOIC, 1-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky; G3 Operations NCO, Fort Rucker, Alabama; First Sergeant, A Company, 1-210th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Alabama; Senior Enlisted Leader, J-35 Operations Planning Division, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; First Sergeant, Headquarters Service Company and E Company, 306th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Fort Hood, Texas; S3 Operations Sergeant Major, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armor Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; Command Sergeant Major 1-228th Aviation Regiment, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras; G3 Aviation Directorate SGM, 8th U.S. Army, USAG Yongsan, Korea; Command Sergeant Major, Aviation Training Team, Fort Irwin, California; Operations Sergeant Major, ACoS G3/5/7, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and is currently serving as the Command Sergeant Major, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Hunter Army Airfield, GA.

CSM Huff deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for combat operations in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, four times to Iraq for combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and four times to Afghanistan for combat operations in Operation Enduring Freedom.

CSM Huffs’ military education includes, Basic Leaders Course; Advanced Leaders Course (Honor Graduate); Senior Leaders Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate); U.S Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 64; Nominative Leaders Course; Instructor Training Course; Aviation Life Support Equipment Course; Special Operations Training Course; Battle Staff NCO Course; Airborne School; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Wartime Course; SERE Peacetime Government Detainee Course; Department of Defense Hostage course; Joint Firepower Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate); Special Operations Liaison Element course; Joint Special Operations Air Component course; Building Partner-nation Aviation Capacity course; Master Resilience Trainer course; NTC Observer/Coach-Trainer Course,  Anti-Terrorism Officer Basic and Program Manager course. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) from Touro University.

CSM Huffs’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (2 OLC); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (6 OLC); Joint Service Achievement Medal (2 OLC); Army Achievement Medal (5 OLC); Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award); National Defense Service Medal (2nd award); South-west Asia Service Medal (3 CS); Afghanistan Campaign Medal (4 CS); Iraq Campaign Medal (5 CS); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (6th Award); Overseas Ribbon (6th Award); NATO Medal; Liberation of Kuwait Medal; Parachutist Badge; Master Aviation Badge. He is also a recipient of the Order of Saint Michael – Bronze Award.

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CW5 Timothy M. Slifko

Command Chief Warrant Officer


CW5 Timothy M. Slifko, is a native of Hawley, PA and enlisted in the Army in 1988 as a Combat Medic, serving ten years with duty assignments in the 10th Mountain Division and as a Special Operations Flight Paramedic with the 160th SOAR (Airborne).


He was selected to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School for Initial Entry Rotary Wing training in 1999 and graduated from U.S. Army Helicopter Flight Training in 2000 as an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Scout Pilot.


CW5 Slifko’s previous Warrant Officer assignments include Troop and Squadron TACOPS Officer, 2-17thCAV, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); SERE Instructor and Detachment Training Manager, 1st AVN BDE, USAACE; BAE TACOPS Officer, 2BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Deputy Chief of Officer Training Branch, DOTD, USAACE; Brigade AMSO, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Division AMSO and Personnel Recovery Cell Director, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); and Capabilities and Requirements Developer, Aviation-CDID, Army Futures Command. He has participated in numerous operations and combat deployments to include Operation Restore Hope, Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve.


CW5 Slifko’s military education includes the Warrant Officer Basic Course, Warrant Officer Advanced Course, Warrant Officer Intermediate Level Education, Aviation Pre-Command Course, Tactical Operations Officer Course, Joint Firepower Controller Course, and Joint Air Operations Command and Control Course. His aircraft qualifications include the OH-58A/C, OH-58D, AH-6M, and AH-64D.


CW5 Slifko’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal (w/1 OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (w/4 OLC), Air Medal (w/V device and Numeral 7), and Army Commendation Medal (w/5 OLC). He has earned the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medic Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, Army Master Aviator Badge, Parachutists Badge, Pathfinder Badge, and Air Assault Badge. He is also the recipient of the Order of Saint Michael Award (Bronze).