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Col. Michael T. Baker is the Commander of the 445th Operations Group, 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. As the senior operations officer, he is responsible for training and equipping more than 300 personnel across three squadrons and managing the utilization of nine C-17A Globemaster III aircraft valued at $1.7 billion.  He ultimately ensures the group’s world-wide combat readiness to execute all aspects of strategic and tactical airlift, aeromedical evacuation, and operational support missions in support of Department of Defense directives.

Col. Baker attended Cedarville University from 1989-1993, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management, while simultaneously working to build civilian flight experience.  After college, he worked as a Certified Flight Instructor near Cincinnati, Ohio for approximately a year, joining the 445th Airlift Wing in 1994.  He graduated from Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, Ala. in 1995 as a Distinguished Graduate and recipient of the Jefferson Academic Award. 

Col. Baker flew the C-141 Starlifter, providing post-9/11 support for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.  In 2005 he transitioned to the C-5 Galaxy, providing continued world-wide contingency support.  In 2010, he transitioned to the C-17 Globemaster III, again providing strategic airlift on a global scale.  Prior to serving as the 445th Operations Group Commander, Col. Baker was the 445th Airlift Wing Chief of Safety. He is a command pilot with nearly 7,000 flying hours.


1993 Bachelor of Arts, Business Management, Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio

1995 Officer Training School, Distinguished Graduate/Jefferson Award/Honor Flight, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2002 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

2007 Air Command and Staff College, Air Reserve Component Seminar                                                   

2010 Leadership Today and Tomorrow, Washington, D.C.

2011 Air Force Reserve Command Operations Officer Course, Robins AFB, Ga.

2012 Air War College, Air Reserve Component Seminar

2014 Aviation Safety Program Management Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

2015 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.

2017 Safety Board President Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

2018 National Transportation Safety Board Aircraft Accident Investigation Course, NTSB Training Center; Ashburn, Va.

2018 Master of Arts, Leadership Studies, Marshall University, Huntington, West Va.


August 1995 - December 1996, Student, Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss. and Altus AFB, Okla.

December 1996 - February 1999, Project Officer, 89th Airlift Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

February 1999 - August 2001, Chief of Scheduling, 89th Airlift Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

August 2001 - August 2009, Chief of Current Operations, 445th Operational Support Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

August 2009 - April 2011, Operations Officer, 445th Operational Support Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

April 2011 - April 2014, Assistant Director of Operations/Interim Director of Operations, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

April 2014 - August 2020, Chief of Safety, 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

August 2020 - present, Commander, 445th Operations Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio


Rating: command pilot

Flight Hours: more than 6,900

Military Aircraft flown: T-3 / T-37 / T-38, C-141B/C, C-5A/B, C-17A


Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf cluster

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Meritorious Unit Award

AF Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters

Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster

National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze service star

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

Air & Space Campaign Medal

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

AF Longevity Service with silver oak leaf cluster

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)

AF Training Ribbon


Second Lieutenant May 5, 1995

First Lieutenant May 5, 1997

Captain Sept. 30, 1999

Major Sept. 30, 2003

Lieutenant Colonel Sept. 30, 2008

Colonel Aug. 2, 2020

(Current as of December 2020)