Colonel MATTHEW C. GAETKE

Col. Matthew C. Gaetke is the Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, home of the "Wolf Pack". He serves as the U.S. Forces Korea Area VI commander for more than 7,000 forward-stationed and combat-ready Air Force and Army personnel. As the 8th FW Commander, he is responsible for the plans, support and execution of military operations in support of counter-air, aerial interdiction and close-air support on the Korean Peninsula. The 8th FW consists of more than 3,200 active-duty personnel and civilians, four groups and 14 squadrons, including two F-16 fighter squadrons. Col. Gaetke reports to the 7th Air Force commander for the wing’s conduct of conventional air-to-ground and air-to-air missions in support of armistice and wartime taskings. Col. Gaetke received his commission in 2001 through ROTC at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He led a combat communications team into Iraq in 2003 before completing Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. As an F-16 pilot, he attended the Weapons School and served as a squadron and wing weapons officer. He graduated from Air Force and Joint professional military education programs, including the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies. He served on the staff of the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force—Afghanistan in Kabul, as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics for Kandahar Airfield, and as the Department of the Air Force Liaison to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He is married to Col. Kathryn K. Gaetke, Commander, 51st Operations Group, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and they have three children, Meghan, Anna, and John.

EDUCATION
2001 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2001 Aerospace Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2008 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2009 F-16 Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis Air Force Base, NV
2010 Masters of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
2014 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2015 Masters of Operational Art, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, KS
2018 Masters of National Resource Strategy, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, DC

ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2001 – July 2003, Combat Communications Flight Commander, 3 CCG, Tinker AFB, OK
2. July 2003 – December 2004, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX
3. January 2005 – October 2005, Student, F-16 Basic Course, 63 FS, Luke AFB, AZ
4. October 2005 – April 2007, F-16 Flight Lead, Asst Chief Sq Weapons, 524 FS, Cannon AFB, NM
5. May 2007 – November 2007, F-16 Flight Lead, Executive Officer, 8 OG, Kunsan AB, South Korea
6. November 2007 – May 2008, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, 35 FS, Kunsan AB, ROK
7. June 2008 – December 2008, F-16 Instructor Pilot, 310 FS, Luke AFB, AZ
8. January 2009 – June 2009, Student, United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, NV
9. July 2009 – August 2011, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 310 FS, Luke AFB, AZ
10. August 2011 – July 2013, Chief of Wing Weapons and Tactics, 35 OSS, Misawa AB, Japan
11. August 2013 – June 2014, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL
12. June 2014 – May 2015, Student, School of Advanced Military Studies, Ft Leavenworth, KS
13. June 2015 – June 2016, Director of Operations, 56 OSS, Luke AFB, AZ
14. June 2016 – June 2018, Commander, 310 FS, Luke AFB, AZ
15. July 2018 – June 2019, Student, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington, DC
16. June 2019 – June 2020, Strategic Planner, Integrated Operations Division, Joint Staff, Pentagon, DC
17. June 2020 – May 2021, Special Assistant to the Director/Air Force Operational Liaison, DARPA, Arlington, VA
18. May 2021 – June 2023, Commander, 51st Operations Group, Osan Airbase, ROK
19. Jun 2023 – November, Commander, 607th Air Operations Center, Osan Airbase, ROK
20. November 2023 – Present, Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,200
Combat Hours: 600
Aircraft Flown: F-16, A-10, T-38, T-37

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor and three oak leaf clusters

(Current as of November 2023)