Col Blaine L. Baker is Commander, 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. As commander, he is responsible for the formal training of all KC-46 Pegasus, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircrews for active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units, as well as multiple partner air forces from across the world. In addition, the wing simultaneously maintains a worldwide capability to support combatant commanders by deploying mission-ready Airmen on short notice.
Col Baker was commissioned in 2000 from The Citadel’s Reserve Officer Training Corps in Charleston S.C. He first earned his navigator wings at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas in 2001 and subsequently earned his pilot wings at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas in 2005. Col Baker has served as an electronic warfare officer, AC-130U, and as an instructor pilot in the C-17A aircraft. He holds a Command Pilot rating with over 3,000 flying hours and 937 combat hours. He has deployed nine times in support of overseas and domestic contingency operations.
Col Baker is a distinguished graduate of Air Command and Staff College and served on the U.S. Transportation Command staff in the J3 Operations and Plans Directorate. Additionally, he served as Commander, 821st Contingency Response Squadron, where he led contingency airfield openings in Iraq supporting the counter-ISIS Mosul offensive, and later in Florida and Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Prior to his current duties, the colonel was the Vice Commander, 100th Air Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom.
2000 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.
2006 Squadron Officer School Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2011 Master of Arts, Education, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.
2013 Master of Science, Military Science, Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery, Ala.
ASSIGNMENTS OR CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. August 2000 – June 2001, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph AFB, Texas
2. June 2001 – July 2004, Electronic Warfare Officer, 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
3. August 2004 – August 2005, Student, Joint Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
4. January 2006 – January 2010, Flight Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, and Instructor Aircraft Commander, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
5. February 2010 – June 2012, Assistant Operations Officer, 535th Airlift Squadron, and Chief Wing Executive Officer, 15th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
6. July 2012 – June 2013, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2013 – June 2015, Joint Mobility Operations Officer, Operations and Plans Directorate (J3), US Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
8. September 2015 – June 2016, Operations Officer, 921st Contingency Response Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
9. June 2016 – May 2018, Commander, 821st Contingency Response Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
10. June 2018 – June 2019, Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
11. September 2019 – July 2020, Student, Royal College of Defense Studies, London, UK
12. July 2020 – June 2021, Vice Commander, 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, UK
13. July 2021 – present, Commander, 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB, Okla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2013 – June 2015, Joint Mobility Operations Officer, Operations and Plan Directorate (J3), and Executive Officer to the Director, J3, US Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., as a major
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft flown: T-43, T-6, AC-130U, C-17A, KC-135R, and KC-46A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with fourth oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War of Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal with bronze service star
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
NATO Medal (ISAF)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant July 2000
First Lieutenant July 2002
Captain July 2004
Major July 2010
Lieutenant Colonel October 2015
Colonel March 2020
(CURRENT AS OF JULY 2021)