MEMPHIS, Tenn. --
Colonel Matthew G. Brancato, Commander of the 164th Airlift Wing, Memphis, Tennessee, takes his first local flight Aug. 18, 2020. The 164th is one of the Air National Guard's six strategic airlift wings whose personnel are trained and equipped to provide rapid global mobility in C-17 aircraft supporting National Security Objectives.
Col. Brancato started his career in the C-17 in September 2001. He then flew the MQ-9 Reaper for several years.
"It's a full-circle moment for me; being Commander here was an opportunity for me to get back into my original starting aircraft,” stated Brancato, recalling the beginning of his career years ago.
For Col. Brancato, an appreciation for aviation runs deep in the family. His father was an air traffic controller at Chicago Center and his grandfather also worked in a tower. His fascination with aviation was cultivated by his family.
"I am really enjoying the city and the personnel of the 164th,” said Brancato. “The Memphis mantra is, ‘taking care of business.’ My personal leadership goals are to take care of the people at the Wing and that is my business.
Now, as the 164th commander Brancato is living his personal mantra of taking care of his people and is back in the seat of the C-17 - which he started his Air Force career in.