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Sallee assumes command of 97th Flying Training Squadron

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Lt. Col. Elliott Nelsen, instructor pilot at the 97th Flying Training Squadron, gives the invocation during the 97th FTS April change of command ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

2nd Lt. Falon Little, casual Airman working at the 97th Flying Training Squadron while waiting for her undergraduate pilot training class start date, volunteered to sing the National Anthem during the 97th FTS April change of command ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Lt. Col. Frank Waters, director of operations, 97th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Lt. Col. Matt Sallee, commander, 97th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Former 97th Flying Training Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Michael Rose (right) accepts the Meritorious Service Medal from 340th Flying Training Group Commander Col. Allen Duckworth, during an April change of command ceremony held at Sheppard AFB, Texas. Rose continues to serve as a traditional Reserve instructor pilot with the 97th, relinquishing command to pursue a civilian opportunity (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Col. Allen Duckworth, 340th Flying Training Group commander, welcomes guests, attendees to the 97th Flying Training Squadron change of command ceremony while squadron superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Vianca Contreras stands prepared to present the guidon. The 97th FTS is one of seven squadrons assigned to the 340th FTG. (U.S. Air Force photo)

97th FTS welcomes new leadership

Lt. Col. Matt Sallee, right, accepts command of the 97th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, from Col. Allen Duckworth, commander, 340th Flying Training Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Texas, during an April ceremony, while 97th FTS superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Vianca Contreras stands at attention, ready to retrieve the guidon. (U.S. Air Force photo)

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – Lt. Col. Matt Sallee assumed command of the 97th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base Texas, during an April ceremony officiated by Col. Allen Duckworth, 340th Flying Training Group commander.

Prior to assuming command, Sallee was the squadron director of operations.

Commissioned in 1999 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, Sallee is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science. He also earned an aeronautical science master’s degree through Embry-Riddle University, and completed Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College.

A command pilot with more than 2,900 flying hours in the A-10 and T-38, including more than 180 combat hours, the lieutenant colonel served in a variety of roles including instructor pilot at Sheppard; A-10 pilot at Pope AFB, North Carolina and Osan Air Base, Korea; and a combat jump battalion liaison officer assigned to the 82nd Airborne during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to his deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he also deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sallee has earned various honors, including the Bronze Star, Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal.

A traditional Reserve Citizen Airman, Colonel Sallee is also a civilian airline pilot.

Sallee’s new operations director is Lt. Col. Frank Waters, T-38 instructor pilot at Sheppard AFB. Waters was commissioned in 1998 through North Carolina State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in management. An F-16 pilot at Eglin AFB, Florida and Shaw AFB, South Carolina, Waters is a command pilot with 3,200 hours in the F-16 and T-38. He earned a master’s degree in military operational art and science through Air University, and has completed Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.

The former 97th FTS commander, Lt. Col. Michael Rose, continues to serve as a traditional Reserve instructor pilot with the 97th, relinquishing command to pursue a civilian opportunity.

The 97th FTS is one of six flying training squadrons under the 340th FTG. The squadron trains and provides experienced pilots to augment Air Education and Training Command’s Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training.