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Colonel Matthew Brancato

Commander, 164th Airlift Wing

Colonel Mathew G. Brancato is the Commander of the 164th Airlift Wing, Memphis, Tennessee. One of the Air National Guard’s six strategic airlift wings, the 164th is trained and equipped to provide rapid global mobility in C-17 aircraft supporting National Security Objectives. In peacetime, the 164th reports to the Governor of Tennessee providing emergency relief and support to civil defense authorities preserving peace, order and public safety. The Wing comprises approximately 1,000 personnel with over 300 military civil service and civilian employees. He recently completed Senior Developmental Education at the National Defense University’s National War College.

Colonel Brancato graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering. After completing an overseas short tour at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he attended SUPT at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas where he flew the T-37B and T- 1 aircraft; earning his pilot wings in 2001. His first flying assignment was at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina flying the C-17 Globemaster III in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. After 3 years and over 1,500 hours in the C-17, he returned to the US Air Force Academy to fly the TG-10 and TG-15 aircraft. Colonel Brancato transferred to the North Dakota Air National Guard Hector Field, Fargo, North Dakota in 2008 and transitioned to fly the MQ- 1B Predator Remotely Piloted Aircraft. While assigned to the 119th Operations Group in North Dakota, he was the Chief of Scheduling managing combat ops for over 120 aircrew members while supervising 8 officer and enlisted personnel. He also stood up the unit’s first Commander Support Staff office as the Executive Officer for the Operations Group Commander. In 2015 he became the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Functional Area Manager at the Air National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. He was responsible for all ANG Remotely Piloted ISR including 12 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Wings, and a Classic Associate Unit at Creech AFB. As the Remotely Piloted Aircraft lead at National Guard Bureau, he was an advisor to the ANG Director of Operations, HAF, and ACC representing over 1,500 ANG ISR professionals. He developed and managed policies and plans for ANG RPA, and executed ANG unit funding requirements. After his assignment at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, he served as the 160th Attack Squadron Commander and then the 163d Operations Group Commander at March Air Reserve Base, California. Colonel Brancato commanded and led over 250 personnel, 4 squadrons, 1 weather flight and a Formal Training Unit. He was responsible for a 24/7/365 Combat Line providing multi-INT and precision strike capabilities in support of combatant commander requirements. He was also responsible for flying operations at 2 locations, an Active Associate Squadron, and producing 80 combat ready crews, over 500 training sorties, and over 5,000 flight hours annually.



1999 Bachelor of General Engineering, USAF Academy, Colo.

2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2006 Master of Arts in Adult Education, Touro University International, Calif.

2008 Associate of Occupational Studies in Automotive Technology

2012 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence

2017 Air War College, Correspondence

2020 Master of Science in National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington D.C.



1.   September 1999-July 2000, Special Projects Officer, 603d Air Control Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy

2.   July 2000-December 2001, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin, Texas

3.   December 2001-May 2002, Assistant Chief of Readiness, C-17 Mission Pilot, 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.

4.   May 2002-August 2004, Stan/Eval Liaison Officer, C-17 Airland/Airdrop Mission Pilot, 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.

5.   August 2004-February 2005, Pilot Scheduler, 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.

6.   February 2005- November 2006, Chief of Training, 94th Flying Training Squadron, USAF Academy, Colo.

7.   November 2006- February 2008, Flight Commander, 94th Flying Training Squadron, USAF Academy, Colo.

8.   February 2008-May 2010, Chief of Scheduling, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, 178th Reconnaissance Squadron, Fargo, N.D.

9.   May 2010-August 2011, Executive Officer, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, 119th Operations Group, Fargo, N.D.

10.   August 2011-September 2012, Flight Commander, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, 178th Reconnaissance Squadron, Fargo, N.D.

11.   September 2012-August 2014, Director of Operations, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, 178th Reconnaissance Squadron, Fargo, N.D.

12.   August 2014-February 2017, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Functional Area Manager / MQ-1 Pilot, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

13.   February 2017–October 2017, Commander, 160th Attack Squadron, March ARB, Calif

14.   October 2017-June 2019, Commander, 163d Operations Group, March ARB, Calif.

15.   June 2019-July 2019, Advisor to National Guard Bureau A2/3/6/10 ISR Division, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

16.   August 2019-July 2020, National War College Student, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, DC

17.   August 2020-Present, Commander, 164th Airlift Wing, Memphis, Tenn.



Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: 4,255

Aircraft Flown: T-37B, T-1, C-17, TG-10, TG-15, MQ-1B, MQ-9



Meritorious Service Medal two oak leaf clusters

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal

Combat Readiness Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

AF Overseas Ribbon Short

NATO ISAF Service Medal



Second Lieutenant - June 02, 1999

First Lieutenant -  June 02, 2001

Captain - June 02, 2003

Major - August 27, 2008

Lieutenant Colonel - September 06, 2013

Colonel - June 28, 2018


(Current as of August 2020)