Colonel Matthew C. Harper is the Deputy Commander, 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard. The 176th Wing provides, the U.S. Air Force capabilities of global Reach and Vigilance through combined operations of Personnel Recovery, Strategic Airlift, and Air Sovereignty missions. He is responsible for the recruiting, retention, and training of more than 1,500 Air National Guard members, operating a diverse mix of C-17, HH-60, and HC-130J aircraft, Guardian Angel, an Air Defense Squadron, plus a full array of agile combat support capability for in-state and world-wide deployment. The wing maintains a constant watch and commitment for the commander, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and Alaska North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.

Colonel Harper was commissioned into the Air Force through the Academy of Military Science. After completing undergraduate pilot training at NAS Corpus Christi, he was assigned to the 144th Airlift Squadron at Kulis ANGB in Anchorage, AK. Colonel Harper served as a C-130H Aircraft Commander, flying tactical airlift/airdrop missions throughout the EUCOM and CENTCOM theaters supporting Operations JOINT FORGE and ENDURING FREEDOM. He was then selected to fly the HC-130N for the 211th Rescue Squadron at Kulis ANGB, AK. He flew as a HC-130N Instructor pilot during several rescue missions in AK and for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In 2006 he was selected to attend the rotary wing qualification course at Fort Rucker, AL where he transitioned to fly the HH-60G for the 210th Rescue Squadron. Additional assignments include, Director of Joint Operations (J3) at JFHQ-Alaska, Commander 210th Rescue Squadron at JBER, AK, Director of Operations 176th Operational Support Squadron and Commander Det-1/210th Rescue Squadron at Eielson AFB, AK. He is an HH-60G instructor/evaluator and has deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan and Africa) three times. As a Command Pilot, he has flown more than 4,400 flying hours, including 249 combat rescue saves and 78 saves supporting civil SAR in Alaska. 

1998 Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, TX and NAS Corpus Christi, TX
2000 C-130 Initial Qualification Course, Little Rock AFB, AR
2003 HC-130N Initial Mission Qualification Course, Kirtland AFB, NM
2006 Rotary Wing Qualification Course, Fort Rucker, AL
2007 HH-60G Initial Mission Qualification Course, Kirtland AFB, NM
2008 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, by correspondence
2015 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL, by correspondence
2016 ANG Squadron Commanders Course, Andrews AFB, MD
2019 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, by correspondence
2021 Joint Domestic Operations Course, Colorado Springs, CO
2022 JTF Commander Training Course, Colorado Springs, CO

1. November 1994 – September 1998, C-130 Crew Chief, 176th Aircraft Generation Squadron, Kulis ANGB, AK
2. October 1998 – May 1999, T-37 Student Pilot, 85th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin AFB, TX
3. June 1999 – Jan 2000, T-44 Student Pilot, Training Squadron (VT) 31, Corpus Christi, TX
4. February 2000 – September 2002, Aircraft Commander/Scheduling Officer, 144th Airlift Squadron, Kulis ANGB, AK
5. October 2002 – September 2004, Instructor Pilot/Training Officer, 210th Rescue Squadron, Kulis ANGB, AK
6. October 2004 – July 2006, Instructor Pilot/Tactics Officer, 211th Rescue Squadron, Kulis ANGB, AK
7. August 2006 – December 2006, UH-1H Student Pilot, 23rd Flying Training Squadron, Ft Rucker, AL
8. January 2007 – July 2007, HH-60G Student Pilot, 512th Flying Training Squadron, Kirtland AFB, NM
9. August 2007 – August 2009 – HH-60G Aircraft Commander, 210th Rescue Squadron, Kulis ANGB, AK
10. September 2009 – September 2012, Commander Detachment 1/210th Rescue Squadron, Eielson AFB, AK
11. October 2012 – March 2014, Assistant Director of Operations, 210th Rescue Squadron, JBER, AK
12. April 2014 – August 2015, Chief of Current Operations, 176th Operations Support Squadron, JBER, AK
13. September 2015 – May 2017, Director of Operations, 176th Operations Support Squadron, JBER, AK
14. June 2017 – July 2019, Commander 210th Rescue Squadron, JBER , AK
15. August 2019 – October 2019, Deputy Commander 176th Operations Group, JBER, AK
16. November 2019 – April 2022, Director Joint Operations (J3), Joint Forces Headquarters-Alaska, JBER, AK
17. May 2022 – present, Deputy Commander 176th Wing, JBER, AK


November 2019 – April 2022, Director of Operations, Training, & Exercises (J3/7), JFHQ-Alaska, JBER, AK, as a colonel

Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: more than 4,400 with 480 combat hours
Aircraft flow: T-37, T-44, UH-1, C-130E/H, HC-130N, and HH-60G

Meritorious Service Medal with oak leave cluster
Air Medal with silver oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Combat Action Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit with valor device and five oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two stars

Second Lieutenant July 2, 1998
First Lieutenant July 2, 2000
Captain July 13, 2002
Major January 1, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel November 1, 2015
Colonel September 30, 2020
(Current as of June 2022)