Col. Kurt Matthews is the commander of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The wing is authorized six HC-130P/N tanker aircraft, 15 HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, and nine Unit-Type-Code packages of Guardian Angels to support worldwide combat rescue operations and the 45th Space Wing's range clearing missions. The wing comprises approximately 2,000 personnel assigned to four groups, 17 squadrons, four flights, a headquarters section as well as three geographically separated units in Arizona, Virginia and Oregon. The colonel provides leadership, management and supervision and is responsible for the organization, training and equipping of the wing. During wartime, the wing’s assets are assigned to Air Combat Command.
Colonel Matthews is a 1990 graduate of the University of Miami, where he earned his commission through the Air Force ROTC program. His previous commands include the 308th Rescue Squadron, 919th Special Operations Group and 920th Operations Group. As an HH-60G Pave Hawk instructor/evaluator pilot, he has flown in Operations Provide Comfort II, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, as well as during hurricanes Floyd, Katrina and Rita. Additionally, he is a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and recently completed Air Force Special Operations Command’s Air Commando training. He has served on active duty for four years, the Air National Guard for two years and the Air Force Reserve for 21 years.
1990 Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, University of Miami, Fla.
1997 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2001 Masters of Aeronautical Science with honors, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Fla.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
2014 Advanced Joint Professional Military Education, National Defense University, by correspondence
1. March 1991–Apr 1992, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
2. April 1992–August 1992, Aerial Port Duty Officer, Dover AFB, Del.
3. August 1992–September 1993, HH-60G Helicopter Pilot, Homestead AFB, Fla.
4. September 1993–May 2006, HH-60G Helicopter Pilot, Squadron Weapons and Tactics, Patrick AFB, Fla.
5. June 2006–June 2008, Space Operations Officer, McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn.
6. July 2008–June 2010, HH-60G Helicopter Pilot, group Weapons and Tactics, Patrick AFB, Fla.
7. June 2010–November 2012, Commander, 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla.
8. November 2012–June 2014, Personnel Recovery/Special Operations Branch Chief, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
9. June 2014–May 2016, Commander, 919th Special Operations Group, Duke Field, Fla.
10. May 2016–December 2016, Commander, 920th OG, Patrick AFB, Fla.
11. December 2016–Present, Commander, 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick AFB, Fla.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 3,150
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, UH-1, HH-60G, C-145A, HC-130P/N
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Southwest Asia Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 10, 1990
First Lieutenant May 10, 1993
Captain Aug. 8, 1996
Major April 20, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel April 20, 2008
Colonel Sept. 1, 2013
(Current as of December 2017)