Colonel Matthew C. Gaetke is the Commander of the 51st Operations Group, Osan AB, Republic of Korea. 

Colonel 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 and as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics for Kandahar Airfield. Colonel Gaetke is a command pilot with more than 1,900 flying hours in the F-16, including more than 600 combat hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Gaetke served as the Department of the Air Force liaison to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 



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 



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



Rating: Command Pilot 
Flight Hours: More than 1,900 
Aircraft Flown: F-16, T-38, T-37 


1.    Defense Superior Service Medal
2.    Defense Meritorious Service Medal
3.    Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
4.    Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters
5.    Aerial Achievement Medal
6.    Joint Service Commendation Medal
7.    Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
8.    Joint Meritorious Unit Award
9.    Air Force Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
10.    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor and three oak leaf clusters



Second Lieutenant, June 8, 2001 
First Lieutenant, June 22, 2003 
Captain, June 22, 2005 
Major, August 1, 2011 
Lieutenant Colonel, February 1, 2015 Colonel, February 1, 2021 


(Current as of Jun 2021)