Colonel COLONEL AARON J. MATHENA

Col Aaron J. Mathena is the Commander, 142d Operations Group, 142d Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. As the 142 OG Col Mathena has command supervision of the 116th Air Control Squadron, the 123d Fighter Squadron, the 123d Weather Flight, the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, and the 142d Operations Support Flight.


A graduate of Central Washington University, Col Mathena was commissioned at the Academy of Military Science in February 2002. Upon completion of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, he performed multiple worldwide deployments with the 142d Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard as an F-15C Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot, and Weapons Officer. Before completing a National Security Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, he commanded the 123d Fighter Squadron, 142d Fighter Wing, Portland, Ore. in support of Global Force Management objectives. Later, he became a senior strategist in the Action Group for the Chief, National Guard Bureau.


Most recently, Col Mathena was a Senior Policy Development Analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. He has served as a Weapons School Instructor, Director of Operations, and as the Aide de Camp to the 21st Chief of Staff, United States Air Force.


EDUCATION
2000 Bachelor of Arts Degree, Central Washington University, Wash.
2002 Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson ANG Base, Knoxville, Tenn.
2002 Aerospace Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2010 United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2013 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2013 Master of Science Degree, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 National Security Fellowship, Harvard University, Boston, Mass.
2020 Joint Combined Warfighting School, Norfolk, Va.


ASSIGNMENTS
1. January 2002 – July 2003, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. August 2003 – October 2003, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard, AFG, Texas
3. January 2004 – June 2004, Student, F-15 Training, 114th Fighter Squadron, Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, Ore.
4. July 2004 – December 2009, F-15 Flight Lead, Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot, 123d Fighter Squadron, Portland, Ore.
5. January 2010 – June 2010, Student, United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
6. July 2010 – June 2012, Weapons Officer, 123d Fighter Squadron, Portland, Ore.
7. July 2012 – July 2015, Instructor, United States Air Force Weapons School, 433d Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. August 2015 – November 2015, Junior Executive Officer, Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
9. December 2015 – August 2016, Aide de Camp, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
10. September 2016 – June 2018, Commander, 123d Fighter Squadron, Portland, Ore.
11. July 2018 – May 2019, National Security Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston, Mass.
12. June 2019 – June 2020, Strategist, Chief of the National Guard Bureau Action Group, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. June 2020 – June 2021, Senior Policy Development Analyst, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
14. July 2021 – present, Commander, 142d Operations Group, Portland, Ore.


SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2019 – May 2020, Strategist, Chief of the National Guard Bureau Action Group, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a lieutenant colonel
2. June 2020 – June 2021, Senior Policy Development Analyst, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a colonel


FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 1,700
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-15 A/B/C/D
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal


OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
2004 Top Academic Graduate – F-15 B-Course
2010 Flying Award – United States Air Force Weapons School
2014 Top Academic Instructor – F-15 Weapons Instructor Course


EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant, February 22, 2002
First Lieutenant, February 22, 2004
Captain, February 22, 2006
Major, March 10, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel, August, 27, 2015
Colonel, June 8, 2020


(Current as of July 2021)