Colonel Matthew J. Ihlenfeld is the Commander, 459th Operations Group, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The 459th Operations Group operates eight KC-135R aircraft and consists of three squadrons: 756th Air Refueling Squadron, 459th Operational Support Squadron, and 459th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

Colonel Ihlenfeld is a 2001 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Upon completing pilot training, he flew KC-135s on active duty and deployed five times in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2006 and continued to fly KC-135s at Grissom ARB, Indiana, where he participated in Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR. Later, Colonel Ihlenfeld served a variety of roles within the Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Office of the Air Force Reserve, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., to include Deputy Chief, Programs and Requirements Division, where he was responsible for coordinating Air Force Reserve operational requirements, mission area planning, and budgetary requests with the Headquarters Air Staff. He returned to flying KC-135s at Grissom ARB, Indiana, and surpassed one-hundred and ten career combat missions during his most recent deployment supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. Colonel Ihlenfeld served as the Director of Operations, 452d Operational Support Squadron, and lastly Commander, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March ARB, California, prior to assuming his current position.

2001 Bachelor of Science in Political Science, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2007 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2011 Doctor of Juris Prudence, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Ind.
2013 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 Air Force Reserve Component Chief of Safety Course, Minneapolis-Saint Paul Air Reserve Station, Minn.
2019 Mobility Commander Tactics Course, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Mo.
2019 Nuclear Leadership Course, Scott AFB, Ill.
2019 Air Force Reserve Command Squadron Commander Course, Robins AFB, Ga.
2020 Nuclear 200 Nuclear Fundamentals Course, Kirkland AFB, N.M.
2020 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

1. May 2001 – April 2002, Assistant Swim Coach and Physical Education Instructor, UnitedStates Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2. April 2002 – January 2003, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Moody AFB, Ga.
3. January 2003 – January 2004, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. January 2004 – August 2006, Pilot, Flight Scheduler, and, later, Executive Officer, 905th AirRefueling Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
5. August 2006 – August 2012, Pilot and, later, Instructor Pilot, and Assistant FlightCommander, 72d Air Refueling Squadron, Grissom ARB, Ind.
6. August 2012 – June 2013, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. June 2013 – February 2014, Instructor Pilot and Assistant Flight Commander, 72d AirRefueling Squadron, Grissom ARB, Ind.
8. February 2014 – February 2017, Chief, Tactical Airlift Requirements, later Chief, StrategicAirlift/OSA Programmer, and, lastly, Deputy Chief, Programs and Requirements Division,Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Office of Air Force Reserve, Pentagon,Washington, D.C.
9. March 2017 – September 2018, Assistant Director of Operations, 72d Air RefuelingSquadron, Grissom ARB, Ind.
10.September 2018 – February 2019, Director of Operations, 452d Operations SupportSquadron, March ARB, Calif.
11.February 2019 – August 2021, Commander, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March ARB,Calif.
12.August 2021 – Present, Commander, 459th Operations Group, JB Andrews, Md.


Rating: Command pilot

Flight hours: more than 3,300

Aircraft flown: T-6, T-1, KC-135R/T


Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster


Second Lieutenant May 30, 2001

First Lieutenant May 30, 2003

Captain May 30, 2005

Major May 30, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel September 13, 2016

Colonel August 11, 2021

(Current as of November 2021)