February 24, 2020
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Local man retires from United States Air Force after 22 years of service

Community Author: Old Town United Methodist Church
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Old Town United Methodist Church | Contributed
Old Town United Methodist Church | Contributed

MAXFIELD — Lt. Col. Matthew Clapp has retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) after 22 years of dedicated service. “Drip” (as he is known in the USAF) was from Maxfield and graduated from Bangor Christian High School in 1992.

He received a Federal Academy Nomination from Senator William Cohen for the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, New York. In 1997, he graduated from USMMA with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard 3rd Mates License (unlimited tonnage), and a Commission in the USAF. In 2009, he earned his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College. Drip flew the B-1B and earned his Master Navigator Wings, accumulating 2,661 total flight hours with 1,251 hours flown in combat.

His squadron, 34th Bomb Squadron, was the first unit to deploy after 9-11 and was the first squadron to fly combat missions and employ weapons in Afghanistan. In total, he has been deployed eight times (almost five years) in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield. On his 2010 deployment to Iraq, he received the Bronze Star for his conduct in the Force Strategic Engagement Cell’s (FSEC)
encounters with the Government of Iraq (GoI) and insurgent factions throughout Iraq and neighboring countries. Drip commanded the 82d Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron in 2015 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, where his squadron of Joint Terminal Attack Controller’s (JTAC) conducted contingency response operations supporting coalition operations in the U.S. Central Command’s (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility.

Lt. Col.  Clapp married Kimberly Janelle from Farmingdale,  and they have two boys, Logan and Mitchell. They have moved 10 times and Lt. Col. Clapp has been assigned to 18 different units in their 22 years. They have made their last military move and have retired to Virginia. Lt. Col. Clapp owes all his success to his loving and dedicated family: Kimberly, Logan, Mitchell, Paulette (mom from Glenburn), Amy (sister from Glenburn), Dave (brother-in-law) and Olivia (niece).