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Col 104th Fighter Wing Commander

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Colonel William T. Bladen is the Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, Massachusetts. In his current position, he ensures the unit is mission ready and can effectively support federal and state taskings for the 21 assigned F-15C/D Eagles and over 1000 military and civilian personnel.

Colonel Bladen entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and then earned his pilot wings at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi in 1999. Throughout his career, he has served as an F-15C Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, F-15C Weapons School Instructor Pilot, Chief of Advanced Programs at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Europe, Director of Operations, Wing Chief of Safety, and Wing Inspector General. He commanded the 433rd Weapons Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the 104th Operations Group, Barnes Air National Guard Base.

Colonel Bladen was selected by the Secretary of Defense for an Executive Fellowship position with Textron Systems, Maryland. Here he was submerged in corporate practices, innovative initiatives, and leadership principles for a year-long tour. Upon his return, Colonel Bladen assumed the Vice Commander position at the 104th Fighter Wing.

Colonel Bladen is a distinguished graduate of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Squadron Officer School, and the USAF Weapons School. He is a command pilot with over 2,500 flight hours and combat experience over Iraq while enforcing the no-fly zone during Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

EDUCATION

1997 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama

2009 Masters of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

2014 Senior Development Education (correspondence), Maxwell AFB, Alabama

2019 Senior Development Education (residence), Textron Systems, Hunt Valley, Maryland

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Mar 1998 – Mar 1999 Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Mississippi

2. Mar 1999 – Jun 1999 Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Mississippi

3. Jun 1999 – Jan 2000 Student, F-15C training, 1st Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Florida

4. Jan 2000 – Jan 2003 Chief of Mobility/F-15C Instructor Pilot, 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida

5. Jan 2003 – Jul 2004 3rd Wing Alert Officer, 3rd Operations Support Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

6. Jul 2004 – Dec 2005 USAFWS Student/Weapons Officer, 12th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

7. Dec 2005 – Jul 2008 F-15C Weapons School Instructor Pilot, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada

8. Aug 2008 – Jul 2009 Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama

9. Jul 2009 – Aug 2011 Chief of Advanced Programs Branch, HQ USAFE/A3, Ramstein AB, Germany

10. Aug 2011 – May 2012 Director of Operations, 18th Operations Support Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan

11. May 2012 – Jun 2013 Chief of Safety, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada

12. Jun 2013 – Dec 2014 Commander, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada

13. Feb 2015 – Jun 2015 104th Fighter Wing Inspector General, Barnes ANGB, Massachusetts

14. Jul 2015 – Jun 2018 Commander, 104th Operations Group, Barnes ANGB, Massachusetts

15. Jul 2018 – Jun 2019 Secretary of Defense Executive Fellow, Textron Systems, Maryland

16. Jul 2019 – Jun 2020 Vice Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB, Massachusetts

17. Jun 2020 – Present Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB, Massachusetts

FLIGHT INFORMATION:

Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: 2500+

Combat Hours: 88

Aircraft Flown: F-15C, AT-38A, T-38A, T-37B

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Legion of Merit

Meritorious Service Medal with 2 devices

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 devices

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 4 devices

Combat Readiness Medal with 1 device

National Defense Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long with 1 device

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

Air Force Longevity Service with 4 devices

Air Force Training Ribbon

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION

Second Lieutenant 28 May 1997

First Lieutenant 28 May 1999

Captain 28 May 2001

Major 1 Nov 2006

Lieutenant Colonel 1 Dec 2011

Colonel 1 Aug 2016

(Current as of 24 June 2020)

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