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Biography Display

Colonel Matthew J. Nicholson

Col. Matthew J. Nicholson serves as the Deputy Commander, 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He serves as chief advisor to the Commander in executing the air component mission in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam. 

Col. Nicholson graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. He has held a variety of operational, flying and staff assignments.

Col. Nicholson is a Command Pilot with more than 2100 hours in the F-15C/D, B-52H, AT-38, T-38, and T-37. He has been qualified as a combat ready pilot since 2000, deploying in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and NOBLE EAGLE. 

1996 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. 
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 
2009 Master of Arts, Military History (with Honors), American Military University, W. Va.
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 
2014 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Va.

1. May 1996–February 1997, Assistant T-3 Program Director, USAFA, Colo.
2. February 1997–June 1998, Student and Causal Lieutenant, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
3. June 1998–January 1999, Student, 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. January 1999–March 2002, Chief of Safety, Security Manager, 67th FS, Kadena Air Base, Japan
5. March 2002–May 2004, Chief of Life Support, 49th Fighter Training Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.
6. May 2004–September 2005, Flight Commander, 49th FTS, Moody AFB, Ga.
7. September 2005–May 2006, Chief of Training and F-15 Instructor Pilot, 60th FS, Eglin AFB, Fla.
8. May 2006–October 2006, Assistant Director of Operations, 33d Operations Support Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
9. October 2006–May 2008, Director of Staff, 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.
10. May 2008–Jun 2009, Chief, Air Dominance Branch HAF/A9, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
11. June 2009–June 2010, US Forces-Iraq Plans Air Liaison Officer, Camp Victory, Iraq
12. July 2010–June 2011, Assistant Director of Operations, 57th Adversary Tactics Support Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
13. June 2011–June 2012, Director of Operations, 507th Air Defense Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
14. June 2012–June 2014, Commander, 507th ADAS, Nellis AFB, Nev.
15. June 2014–July 2017: Strategic Capabilities Integration Officer, USPACOM J81, Camp HM Smith, Hawaii
16. July 2017–July 2018: Director, Operations and Plans, 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf­-Richardson, Alaska
17. July 2018–June 2020: Vice Commander, 36th Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam
18. July 2020–Present: Deputy Commander, 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf­-Richardson, Alaska

Rating:  command pilot 
Flight hours:  2100 hours 
Aircraft flown:  F-15C/D, B-52H, AT-38, T-38, T-37 

Legion of Merit 
Bronze Star 
Defense Meritorious Service Medal 
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters 
Air Medal 
Aerial Achievement Medal 
Joint Service Commendation Medal 
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster 
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters 
Combat Readiness Medal 
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 
Iraqi Campaign Medal with star 
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal 

Second Lieutenant May 1996
First Lieutenant May 1998
Captain May 2000
Major May 2006
Lieutenant Colonel July 2011
Colonel Sept. 2017

(Current as of May 2021)