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Rocketeer reaches 3K flying hours

Rocketeer reaches 3K flying-hours

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson (left), 336th Fighter Squadron commander, takes a picture with his family and friend with his certificate of completion for reaching 3,000 flying-hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle, June 11, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Family and friends celebrated Swanson’s milestone after landing during a routine flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)

Rocketeer reaches 3K flying-hours

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson (left), 336th Fighter Squadron commander, reads over his certificate of completion for reaching 3,000 flying-hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle, June 11, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Swanson’s friends and family met him on the flightline upon landing to celebrate this milestone in his flying career. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)

Rocketeer reaches 3K flying-hours

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson, 336th Fighter Squadron commander, embraces his family after completing his 3,000 flying-hour in the F-15E Strike Eagle, June 11, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Family and friends celebrated Swanson’s milestone after landing during a routine flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

Four months. Four months is the amount of time the 336th Fighter Squadron commander has spent in the cockpit throughout his near 16-year flying career.

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson reached the rare 3,000 flight-hours milestone in the F-15E Strike Eagle during a flight here June 11, 2018.

He was greeted by his family, fellow pilots and squadron members to congratulate him on his achievement.

“Three thousand hours is an incredible accomplishment for any fighter pilot,” said Col. Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing commander. “Only a rare few make it to this milestone, but he’s shown to have the commitment to go even further.”

According to Boeing, Swanson is the 37th F-15E fighter pilot to eclipse that feat.

“It’s very humbling to be among the 3,000 flight-hour company,” said Swanson. “But, honestly, I’m the guy benefiting from the outstanding maintainers and support that we receive every day. They are the ones who deserve the credit.”

He flew his first F-15E sortie July 22, 2004, here as a member of the 333rd Fighter Squadron.

Swanson has accumulated more than 1,200 combat flying hours supporting multiple operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Inherent Resolve.