Howard takes command of 110th Bomb Squadron
By Staff Sgt. Joshua Colligan, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 06, 2020
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- There are only a handful of occasions throughout an officer’s career in which his family and entire squadron gather to honor an achievement. Lt. Col. Matthew Howard has had a few, but this one will hold a special place in his heart.
Lt. Col. Howard assumed command of the 110th Bomb Squadron during a COVID-19 adjusted ceremony October 24, 2020. It’s his first command.
“I am honored to be commander of such an awesome group of extremely talented and experienced individuals,” he said to his new squadron in The Technical Sergeant Luke C.A. Ford Auditorium, here. “There is only one thing I am going to ask of you as we leave here today: I need you to be ready – ready for whatever the next big event is that we must face.”
In addition to easily-seen differences like masks and social distancing, a time-honored tradition was omitted to adhere to healthcare guidelines. The guidon passing to the new commander has long signified the transfer of authority. Howard said he didn’t lose any sleep over it, and instead was more than happy with the ceremony.
“I think just having the ceremony itself and really just all the squadron be able to be here was the actual handing the guidon back and forth,” he said.
Howard arrived to the 110th in September 2014 as an accomplished active duty pilot on the F-15 Eagle and F-22 Raptor fighter jets. He has seamlessly transitioned to the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, and climbed the ladder to his first command. It’s a responsibility he isn’t embarking on lightheartedly.
“My goal is to ensure that you have the training, resources and tools required to accomplish whatever mission you are tasked with,” he said. “But, I need each of you to have the motivation and drive to stay at the top of your game.”
After an almost two-decade-long career combined with growing up in an Air Force household, Howard knows first-hand how life outside the uniform can impede an Airman’s ability to be at the top of his or her game. So much so that he made sure to credit his wife for helping to keep him on his game.
“I love you and I couldn’t do any of this without you,” he said. “You have been a rock star during this 18-plus year Air Force adventure. Thank you for always adjusting to whatever curveballs the Air Force or I threw your way. Your motivation and leadership with your own career inspire me every day.”
The 110th Bomb Squadron is part of the 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, whose primary operational mission is to provide full spectrum, expeditionary, B-2 global strike and combat support capabilities. Wing manpower is also dedicated to providing for the unit's overall combat readiness, operating support functions for tenant and attached units, and for performing combat and emergency duty in support of both federal and state missions.