***image1***Col. Rich B. Weathers relinquished command of the 38th Combat Support
Wing to Col. Earl D. Matthews during a change of command ceremony at
the Ramstein Officers’ Club Monday.
Colonel Matthews comes for his second tour in Germany from Air Mobility
Command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where he served as
the director of communications and information for nearly 5,000 people
with a $350 million budget.
In his new job, he commands a wing with 31 geographically separated
units located in eight countries throughout the U.S. Air Forces in
The 38th CSW’s mission is so vast that Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop, presiding
officer at the change of command ceremony, said, “The 38th CSW is the
most diverse wing in USAFE. You name it, the 38th does it; and does it
In Colonel Matthews’ change of command speech, he told 38th CSW
warriors that there are four pillars to combat effectiveness that he
will concentrate on throughout his command. These pillars are: safety,
readiness, training and personnel.
Colonel Matthews was born in Munich, and lived in several locations
around the world while his father was in the Army. After his commission
from the Reserved Officer Training Corps at Northern Arizona University
in Flagstaff, Ariz., he became a space and intelligence computer
systems officer at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colo.
He has served as a commander two other times during his career. He was
the 22nd Communications Squadron commander at McConnell Air Force Base,
Kan., and the U.S. European Command Current and Contingency Operations
commander at Stuttgart, Germany.