COLONEL MATTHEW J. FRENCH
Colonel Matthew J. French is the commander of the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, Jacksonville, Florida. As the Wing Commander he leads in the execution of the F-15 Federal Aerospace Control Alert mission, worldwide deployments supporting national objectives, and domestic operations as directed by the Governor. He is responsible for over a combination of 1,600 military and civilian personnel, which includes five Geographically Separated Units located at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Patrick AFB, MacDill AFB and Homestead ARS. The 125th Fighter Wing conducts Air Force mission to include Air Supremacy, Offensive and Defensive Space Operations, RED HORSE, Joint Communications and Battlefield Weather Support.
Colonel French received his commission in 1999 upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has served in a variety of operational fighter assignments in U.S. Air Forces Europe and Pacific Air Command. He instructed at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School before transitioning in 2010 from the active duty Air Force to the Florida Air National Guard. He has commanded an operations group and maintenance squadron. Prior to his current assignment he served as the Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. He is a command pilot with over 2,500 hours in the T-37, T-38, and F-15A-D. He has deployed in support of NATO Alert in Iceland, Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE in Europe, and flown numerous missions in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE in the United States.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2007 USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2009 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2014 Air National Guard Intermediate Development Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
2015 Accelerated Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2016 Air National Guard Commanders Development Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
2016 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 Master of Arts, Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
1. October 1999 – May 2001, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. June 2001 – December 2002, Student, F-15C training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
3. January 2002 – January 2005, F-15C Mission Commander, Assistant Chief of Scheduling, Assistant Chief of Weapons, 493rd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England
4. January 2005 – December 2006, F-15C Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander and Group Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 67th Fighter Squadron and 18th Operations Group, Kadena AB, Okinawa
5. January 2007 – June 2007, Student, USAF Weapons Instructor Course, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
6. June 2007 – June 2008, Squadron Weapons Officer, 67th Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Okinawa
7. June 2008 – June 2010, F-15C Weapons Instructor, Assistant Director of Operations and Wing Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 433rd Weapons Squadron and 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. July 2010 – June 2012, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 125th Operations Group, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.
9. July 2012 – December 2014, Director of Operations, 159th Fighter Squadron, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.
10. January 2015 – May 2016, Commander, 125th Maintenance Squadron, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.
11. June 2016 – April 2018, Commander, 125th Operations Group, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.
12. May 2018 – December 2019, ANG Advisor to Commander USAFE-AFAFRICA, Ramstein AB, Germany
13. January 2020 – Present, Commander, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-15A-D
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Air Force Association Member
Florida National Guard Association Member
EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 2, 1999
First Lieutenant June 2, 2001
Captain June 2, 2003
Major Nov. 1, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 29, 2013
Colonel June 1, 2017
(Current as of January 2020)