Spaatzen To Command USAF’s “Statue of Liberty Wing”
Though he’s the third Spaatz Award recipient to become a U.S. Air Force general officer, chances are Brigadier General (select) Mark T. Matthews, USAF, Spaatz #208, will tell you what matters is that he’s the first Spaatzen fighter pilot to do so. Presently serving at Hq USAF as Deputy Director, Operational Plans, under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, General-select Matthews will soon assume command of the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Known as “The Statue of Liberty Wing”, the 48FW employs both the F-15C Eagle and the F-15E Strike Eagle and is the only F-15 wing under the U.S. Air Forces in Europe. The late Chris Bahl, #915, was a pilot in the 48th Fighter Wing at the time of his death.
General-select Matthews graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with honors in 1977 and earned a Master’s degree in Operations Research from Princeton University in 1987. He is a distinguished graduate of the USAF F-15 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course and served as a Plans and Programs Research Systems Analyst in Hq USAF’s famous “CHECKMATE” strategy group, where he was one of the authors of RAPID THUNDER, the planning effort which evolved into the air campaign of Operation DESERT STORM. He is a command pilot with over 2000 flying hours in various aircraft, including the F-15, AT-38 and F-16.
Matthews is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina and earned his Spaatz Award while a cadet in Raleigh-Wake Composite Squadron, where he is still maintains his CAP membership. His late father, CAP Major Stan Matthews, was a CAP member for 35 years and served as commander of the Raleigh squadron. 15 May 2003