COMMANDER MATTHEW A. BARKER,
Commander Barker, a native of Tucson, Arizona, graduated from the University of Arizona in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and was commissioned through the NROTC program. After flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and Kingsville, Texas he was designated a Naval Aviator in July of 1998.
He joined VFA-192 in May of 1999, embarked in USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), and flew combat sorties in support of Operation Southern Watch. During his tour he served as Line Division Officer and Assistant Operations Officer and deployed numerous times from NAF Atsugi, Japan, supporting friends and allies in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, Commander Barker deployed with a detachment of CVW-5 pilots and FA-18s to defend the island of Diego Garcia.
Commander Barker was assigned as a Department Head to VFA-83 in October, 2007. While with the Rampagers he served as Safety Officer, Administrative Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer. Embarked in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), he completed the 2009 cruise flying combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ashore, Commander Barker served as an FA-18 instructor pilot in VFA-106, Flag Aide to Commander, US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and attended the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His last shore tour was as an Operational Planner in US Pacific Command’s Standing Joint Force Headquarters. In response to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan, he deployed to Yokota Air Base, Japan and led the Joint Support Force Commander’s Joint Planning Group for Operation Tomodachi.
CDR Barker had served as the Executive Officer of VFA-131 since August 2012 before assuming command of the "Wildcats" in December 2013.
Commander Barker has accumulated over 2500 flight hours and 600 carrier landings. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.