Mr Matthew Bowers is an aviation professional with 25 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force as an operational pilot and commander, including 10 years of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) experience covering Operational Command (Afghanistan), airworthiness, operations and training, requirements development, and program management.
His flying career includes postings to No 32 Squadron flying the HS-748 (1996-99), No 77 Squadron as a Forward Air Control pilot and instructor flying the PC 9A/F (1999-2003), the USAF flying the RQ-4B Global Hawk Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) with the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron (12th RS) at Beale AFB CA (2008-2010), and the Detachment Commander for Australian Heron operations in Afghanistan (2014).
Whilst on exchange with the USAF, Matthew flew over 500 hours on combat support missions over Iraq and Afghanistan collecting over 3000 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance images. He also qualified as an Instructor Pilot and held sub-unit command as the Chief of Flight Training and Chief of Standards and Evaluations.
In 2014, then Wing Commander Bowers deployed to Afghanistan for six months as the Detachment Commander of Task Unit 633.2.7 Heron in support of coalition forces in Regional Command South (RC-S). For his outstanding leadership and the unparalleled support that Heron provided to coalition forces in RC-S, Wing Commander Bowers was awarded a United States Bronze Star medal.
Matthew also served as Commanding Office of Number 5 Flight (Heron) from 23 Jun 2015 to 12 Dec 2016; a period of significant advancement of Heron UAS operations in Australia, including integration of the Heron UAS into non-segregated civilian controlled airspace.
Matthew left the Air Force at the end of 2016 to take up a new position with Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services as Program Manager Unmanned Systems.