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Colonel Matthew J. Nicholson serves as the Vice Commander, 36th Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. He is responsible for the conduct of Indo-Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence, theater security packages, and contingency response operations from Andersen AFB. He is also tasked to ensure the successful employment, deployment, integration, and enabling of air and space forces from the most-forward sovereign U.S. Air Force base in the Indo-Pacific Region. Here, he is responsible for the well-being of more than 7,900 military and civilian personnel on Andersen Air Force Base and assists with installation management for Joint Region Marianas.

Col Nicholson graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996.  He has held a variety of operational, flying and staff assignments including Squadron Command, Eleventh Air Force Director of Operations and Plans, F-15C Instructor Pilot, Air Liaison Officer, HQ Air Force Staff Officer, Pacific Command Staff Officer, US Forces-Iraq Staff officer, and Wing Director of Staff.

Col Nicholson is a Command Pilot with more than 2,100 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.  

Col Nicholson is married to the former Lisa Belew and they have two children, Emily and Jude.

1996 - Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, United States Air Force Academy, CO

2002 - Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2007 - Air Command and Staff College by correspondence

2009 - Master of Arts, Military History (with Honors), American Military University, WV

2013 - Air War College by correspondence

2014 - Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, VA


1.            May 1996 - Feb 1997, Assistant T-3 program director, USAFA, CO


2.            Feb 1997 - Jun 1998, Student and Causal Lt, 47th FTW, Laughlin AFB, Tx


3.            Jun 1998 - Jan 1999, Student, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB, FL


4.            Jan 1999 - Mar 2002, Chief of Safety, Security Manager, 67th FS, Kadena AB, Japan


5.            Mar 2002 - May 2004, Chief of Life Support, 49th Fighter Training Sqd, Moody AFB, GA


6.            May 2004 - Sept 2005, Flight Commander, 49th Fighter Training Sqd, Moody AFB, GA


7.            Sept 2005 - May 2006, Chief of Training and F-15 IP, 60th FS, Eglin AFB, FL


8.            May 2006 - Oct 2006, Assistant Director of Operations, 33d OSS, Eglin AFB, FL


9.            Oct 2006 - May 2008, Director of Staff, 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, FL


10.          May 2008 - Jun 2009, Chief, Air Dominance Branch HAF/A9, Pentagon, DC


11.          Jun 2009 - Jun 2010, US Forces-Iraq Plans Air Liaison Officer, Camp Victory, Iraq


12.          Jul 2010 - Jun 2011, Assistant Director of Operations, 57th ATSS, Nellis AFB, NV


13.          Jun 2011 - Jun 2012, Director of Operations, 507th ADAS, Nellis AFB, NV


14.          Jun 2012 - Jun 2014, Commander, 507th ADAS, Nellis AFB, NV


15.          Jun 2014 - Jul 2017, Strategic Capabilities Integration Officer, USPACOM J81, Camp HM Smith, HI


16.          Jul 2017 - Jul 2018, Director, Operations and Plans, 11th Air Force, JB Elmendorf-Richardson, AK


17.          Jul 2018 - Present, Vice Commander, 36th Wing, Andersen AFB, GU

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 one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and two oak leaf clusters Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal 
National Defense Service Medal with one star 
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal with one star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border 
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one star

Rating:  Command Pilot
Flight Hours:  2100 hours
Aircraft Flown:  F-15C/D, B-52H, AT-38, T-38, T-37

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

(Current as of Jul 2018)