Commander Matthew D. Letcher

Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron (VP) 40

25 October 2020 Commander Matt Letcher is a native of Mitchell, South Dakota.  He enlisted in the Navy in November 1997 and graduated from Machinist’s Mate A-school and Nuclear Power School in Orlando, FL.  Following Nuclear Power Prototype training, he was accepted for the NROTC program, graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and receiving his commission from Iowa State University in 2003.
After completing P-3C FRS training at VP-30 in Jacksonville, FL, CDR Letcher reported to the Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9) in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where he served as Command Fitness Leader, Personnel Officer, Schedules Officer and Pilot Training Officer.  He qualified Functional Check Flight Pilot, Patrol Plane Commander, Mission Commander, and Instructor Pilot, deploying to FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. 
In October 2009, Commander Letcher reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron ONE     (VX-1) in Patuxent River, MD as an Operational Test Pilot.  He served as the Fixed-Wing Operations Officer, P-3C and P-8A NATOPS Officer, and P-8A Assistant Operational Test Director during P-8A Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.  While onboard, he completed an Executive Masters of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School and obtained a type rating in the Boeing 737-800NG.
In September 2012, CDR Letcher joined the VP-30 P-8A Fleet Integration Team (FIT) and the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (MPRWS) in Jacksonville, FL.  He qualified P-8A FRS Instructor Pilot and Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI), and served as the first P-8A Pilot Fleet Instructor Under Training (FIUT) lead and as MPRWS Tactics Department Head.
In January 2015, he reported as a Department Head to the War Eagles of Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16), serving as the Safety/NATOPS Officer, CTF-72 Liaison Officer, Training Officer, Maintenance Officer, Operations Officer, and squadron senior pilot, deploying to SEVENTH and SIXTH Fleets.
In November 2017, CDR Letcher reported to the Director, Air Warfare (OPNAV N98), where he served as Deputy Multi-Mission Branch Head, Deputy P-8A Requirements Officer, responsible for requirements definition, programming and budgeting for all Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance appropriations.  During this tour, he earned Requirements Management Level C certification. 
CDR Letcher reported to Patrol Squadron FOUR ZERO (VP-40) as Executive Officer in May 2020 and assumed command in April 2021.
CDR Letcher has amassed over 2800 flight hours, with over 1000 hours in both the P-3C and     P-8A.  His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (6th Strike Flight), three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various campaign, service, and unit awards.
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