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AFIT Colonel Earns Bronze Star Medal for Efforts in Afghanistan
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Col Paul Cotellesso (left) presented the Bronze Star Medal Certificate to Col Craig Narasaki (right)

Colonel Craig Narasaki distinguished himself by meritorious achievement as Director of Programs and Financial Management, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Wing, Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force at Forward Operating Base Oqab, Kabul, Afghanistan from 22 August 2016 to 5 August 2017. 

During this period, in support of Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and while exposed to significant danger from rocket attacks, insider threats and direct engagements, Col Narasaki led a 14 member directorate composed of comptrollers, acquisitions and contracting officers responsible for the management and programming of $3.4B in Title-10 foreign military sales assets directly resulting in the success sustainment of the Afghan Air Force Mi-17, MD-530F, C-208B, C-130H and A-29 fleets. 

Col Narasaki oversaw the programming and funding for the Afghan Air Force’s in and out of country training, infrastructure and aircraft support equipment that directly resulted in the Afghan Air Force’s ability to conduct over 23,000 aerial missions to include 15,000 personnel transported, 5,400 tons of cargo delivered and 1,700 attack missions prosecuted. 

A force enabler, he oversaw $100M in contract implementation to support the command’s life support, safety force protection and morale, welfare, and recreation for 900 personnel. 
As the senior Air Advisor to the Afghan Air Force’s Headquarters Requirements and Comptroller Directors, Col Narasaki was routinely exposed to potential green on blue attacks while conducting face to face mentorship at the Ministry of Defense, Special Mission Wing and Afghan Air Force Headquarters, routinely engaging in fly away and dismounted operations outside of coalition controlled areas. 

Under his leadership, the Nascent Requirements Directorate led the successful validation of 22,000 requirement items from 32 Afghan Air Force units, which were integrated into the Ministry of Defense’s budgetary process.  Posturing the Afghan Air Force for sustainability, Col Narasaki and his Afghan counterpart framed the Afghan Air Force’s future budget structure to include the conditions necessary for successful coalition withdrawal. 

Col Narasaki is currently serving as the Dean of AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies comprised of the Nuclear College located at Kirtland AFB, NM, the National Security Space Institute located at Peterson AFB, CO, the School of Cyberspace Professional Continuing Education located at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH and the Distance Learning Program, which is managed out of Richland, Washington.  Colonel Narasaki entered the Air Force in 1995 with an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp scholarship.  His career includes a variety of academic, staff and command duties.