Operations Support Squadron welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan, 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Matthew Johnson took command of the 920th Operations Support Squadron during an assumption of command ceremony here April 6.

The assumption of command is a military tradition that formally signifies the transfer of responsibility and authority from one commanding officer to another; symbolized through the passing of a guidon.

Johnson, an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot formerly assigned to the 301st Rescue Squadron, came to the 920th Rescue Wing in 2021. His previously assignments include the 41st RQS at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, as a combat rescue pilot, the 56th RQS, Lakenheath AFB in England where he served as an instructor and group executive officer and Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, as both an HH-60G and HH-60W weapons Formal Training Unit instructor, detachment commander and wing executive officer. Johnson has several combat deployments which include tours in Afghanistan, Kuwait and, most recently, deploying with the 301st RQS to the Central Command area of responsibility.

Lt. Col. John Lowe, 920th Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony, acknowledging the role and commitment the 920th OSS has in ensuring the success of the 920th RQW.

“One of the greatest responsibilities of a commander is instilling leaders within his or her unit to maintain the health and welfare of the unit, ensure its future success and most importantly, ensure mission accomplishment. Today, I have the honor of making Matt “Magic” Johnson the 15th commander of the 920th Operations Support Squadron. I have no doubt the squadron will continue its outstanding performance while under his command,” said Lt. Col. Lowe, 920th OG commander.

Upon taking the stage, Johnson addressed the audience to thank his family and mentors for forging the path leading him to this moment. He then turned his attention to the formation of 920th OSS Airmen in attendance.

“You all are the foundation the projects the 920th’s combat search and rescue capabilities across the globe, guaranteeing that someone’s worst day will not be their last. I’ve watched you execute numerous major exercises both stateside and abroad and two, back-to-back combat deployments. It is because of you that missions of the highest importance were supported and carried out. Lives were saved and critical strategic alliances with partner nations were forged,” said Maj. Johnson, incoming 920th OSS commander.

The 920th OSS is responsible for maintaining and providing aircrew flight equipment, survival, evasion, resistance and escape training, and intelligence support. The squadron boasts the Global War on Terror campaign streamer and seven Air Force Outstanding Unit awards.

The 920th RQW is a combined arms team enabled by agile combat support capable of multi-lateral assault on a defended point of incident in highly contested environments. The wing plans, leads and conducts military rescue operations and missions in order to deny competitors and adversaries exploitation of isolated personnel.