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Col. Matthew S. Allen is the Commander, 24th Special Operations Wing (24 SOW), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Fla. As the only Special Tactics wing in the Air Force, the 24 SOW conducts special operations force core activities with expertise in airpower application to lead global access, precision strike, personnel recovery, and battlefield surgical operations. It is comprised of two Special Tactics Groups and a Special Tactics Training Squadron, totaling 1,700 Special Tactics operators, Combat Mission Support personnel, and Special Operations Surgical Teams.
Col. Allen received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy and was competitively selected as a Special Tactics Officer in 1999. Throughout his training and operational career, he acquired skills as a static-line jumpmaster, military freefall parachutist, combat diver, and joint terminal attack controller.
Col. Allen led Special Tactics and Special Operations Forces during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM-Trans Sahara, INHERENT RESOLVE, and RESOLUTE SUPPORT. Col. Allen commanded the 24th Special Tactics Squadron during deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and various locations across North and East Africa. He also commanded a Special Operations Task Force focused on counter-violent extremist organizations across the Levant. Upon completion of National War College, Col. Allen was selected as the A3 for Air Forces Central Command, directing the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s combat, mobility, and reconnaissance aircraft arsenal during the height of the counter-ISIS fight. Col. Allen next commanded the 720th Special Tactics Group and was subsequently selected as the 24 SOW Commander.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Foreign Area Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell ABF, Ala., by correspondence
2012 Master of Policy Management, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
2015 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 Master of National Security Studies, National War College, Washington, D.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1999
First Lieutenant June 2001
Captain June 2003
Major Jan. 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 2012
Colonel May 2017