Matt has joined our collective training division as an air C2 and maritime SME.
Educated locally at the King’s Grammar School in Grantham, Matt was commissioned into the fighter control branch in 1993. After completing his initial training as an intercept controller in Jun 94, Matt was posted to the control and reporting centre at RAF Buchan for his first tour, which included a 4-month operational detachment to 7 Signals Unit, Byron Heights, in the Falkland Islands. Upon returning to the UK and fulfilling an aspiration to fly, he was posted to the Sentry E-3D Component in Oct 96; this was to be the beginning of a long relationship with airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) capabilities.
Posted to 8 Sqn in Mar 97 following completion of his conversion training, Matt was immediately involved in support of peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. This culminated on 24 Mar 99, following the atrocities committed in Kosovo, when he was part of the first crew involved with Op ALLIED FORCE. Although he flew many more missions in this theatre, once the combat operations were complete, Matt conducted his fighter allocator upgrade training, joining only a handful of Flying Officers to have achieved this level of responsibility.
After promotion to Flight Lieutenant, Matt served as the weapons leader on 8 Squadron for 2 years, during which the Sentry E-3D Component deployed with only 3 days’ notice to orchestrate the air campaign over Afghanistan as part of Op VERITAS (the UK contribution to Op ENDURING FREEDOM). Leading from the front, Matt once again flew on the first night of combat operations; his front line support to this campaign continued until Sep 02 when he was posted to the Sentry Trg Flt on 23 Squadron as the Weapons Instructor Leader and Deputy Flight Commander Training. There, Matt oversaw the training of more than double the normal intake of Weapons Controller students in order to provide additional crew member redundancy in advance of the imminent likelihood of intervention in Iraq. Despite filling this critical instructional role, Matt deployed in support of Op IRAQI FREEDOM in Feb 03 bringing the benefit of his previous operational experience to the crews that he flew with.
After selection for Tactical Director upgrade training, Matt was fortunate enough to be posted to the USA on exchange with the United States Navy (USN). Once Matt had qualified as a Naval Flight Officer (Weapons System Officer equivalent) and earned his “Wings of Gold” in early 2005, he assumed his role as an instructor at VAW-120, Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia. There, Matt enjoyed 3 years flying the E-2C Hawkeye and Hawkeye 2000 AEW&C aircraft. During this period, Matt accrued 193 catapult launches and arrested landings, and embarked on all 5 of the Atlantic Fleet Nimitz Class Carriers and one from the Pacific Fleet. Filling a post normally occupied by a USN Commander, as the Training Officer, Matt oversaw the qualification and training of 140 Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers and Naval Aircrewmen; his achievements were recognised with the award of a US Navy Commendation Medal.
Promoted to Squadron Leader upon his return in late 2007, Matt continued his representation of the E-3D Component when he assumed the post SO2 ISTAR Sentry in 2 Gp at HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe. However, considering himself away from operations for too long, Matt volunteered to deploy in support of Op HERRICK as SO2 ISTAR and the MQ-9 Reaper Liaison Officer in Dec 09. Returning to the UK in May 10, Matt re-joined the AEW&C community when he was posted to 56 Squadron as the E-3D TEF Flight Commander (formerly the Operational Evaluation Unit). During his tenure, he was responsible for the introduction of a number of new capabilities onto the aircraft and was the Project Officer for the Squadron’s 95th anniversary celebrations that included the presentation of a new Squadron Standard by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon. Despite his busy flight commander duties, Matt still managed to fly 31 missions in support of Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya. After concurrently filling his flight commander post, the vacant 56 Squadron XO role and the newly established 1 Gp Sentry Platform Safety Officer role at ISTAR Force HQ, Matt was selected to fill the SO2 ATS/ABM position within the Capability Theatre Airspace department at the Ministry of Defence.
Promoted to Wing Commander and selected for Advanced Command and Staff Course in Sep 13, Matt also completed the optional King’s College London Master’s Degree in Defence Studies achieving a distinction. Recognising his previous “big carrier” experience and with an increasing focus on battlespace management from the Royal Navy, Matt was selected to fill the SO1 Air role at the Maritime Warfare Centre from Jul 14-Aug 16, ahead of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers’ arrival. There, as well as writing a number of contributory chapters, Matt compiled and edited the Royal Navy’s lead Fighting Instruction – “The Conduct of Maritime Operations” and their “Battlespace Management Primer”.
Following this second exchange tour, Matt assumed command of 56 Squadron on 22 Aug 16. In his last role in the Royal Air Force, Matt was responsible for leading the test and evaluation of current and future UK Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Air Command & Control capabilities on behalf of the Air Warfare Centre, including: all UK manned ISR platforms, Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), Counter-UAS, ASACS, Intelligence Exploitation and Space capabilities.
Joining Inzpire as an Air C2 and Maritime Subject Matter Expert, Matt is now looking forward to passing on the benefits of his extensive experience in support of the next generation of capabilities and operator training.
Married to Paula since 2000, he is the proud father of 2 teenage boys, and in his limited spare time Matt enjoys playing tennis, mountain biking, road cycling, hacking around the golf course, and tinkering with the multitude of gadgets that he has around the house.
Welcome to the Inzpire family Matt!