Cmdr. Melanie Ahle
Cmdr. Melanie "Bruce" Ahle, of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace, War, and Defense. She completed flight training in Norfolk, Virginia and earned her Naval Flight Officer wings in 2006.
Ahle’s operational assignments include Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, and Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 124, deploying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Throughout these tours, Ahle earned her Instructor Mission Commander designation (Level 3i), was an honor graduate from the Aviation Safety Officer Course, and completed her Air Wing Strike Lead qualification and Command Duty Officer Underway designation.
Ahle’s ashore assignments include an instructor tour at VAW 120, where she facilitated a 10-month detachment in support of the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, flag aide for Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, and deputy executive assistant to the Director of Navy Staff in the Pentagon. Most recently, Ahle completed a 26-month tour at the White House Military Office as the military aide to the Vice President. During this tour she also earned her Master’s Degree of Military Operational Art and Science through the Air University Air Command and Staff College.
Following her selection to command the “Screwtops” of VAW-123, she assumed the role of executive officer in July 2021 and became commanding officer in November of 2022. Ahle has accumulated 2,000 hours and 500 arrested landings in the E-2C and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Her personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (seven awards), the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit, service, and campaign awards.