Colonel Zak Blom is the Deputy Commander of the 353d Special Operations Wing. The wing employs 1,020 special operations personnel across seven squadrons at Kadena and Yokota Air Bases, supporting special operations throughout U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's area of responsibility by providing combat-ready Special Tactics Teams, MC-130J Commando II, and CV-22B Osprey aircraft.


Prior to this assignment, Col Blom was Deputy Director, Special Operations Legislative Affairs focused on Congressional engagement for USSOCOM. He recently graduated from National War College with a master’s degree in National Security Strategy and a concentration in Influence Warfare. Previously, as Commander, 352d Special Operations Support Squadron, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom he was responsible for 236 military and civilian personnel in the wing’s most functionally diverse squadron, responsible for intelligence, communications, aerial delivery, aircrew flight equipment, aircrew training, SERE, weather, medical and fly-away security.


Col Blom is from southern Ohio and received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at The Ohio State University.  After completing pilot training, he remained at Vance AFB as a T-1A Instructor Pilot. Following MC-130P Combat Shadow qualification he completed multiple operational assignments and combat deployments to include expeditionary command. Col Blom then attended National Intelligence University and was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as a Congressional Liaison to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees in Washington D.C.




2001     Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, The Ohio State University

             2005     Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2008     Master of Business Administration and Management, California Coast University

2011     Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2015     National Intelligence University, Washington D.C.

2021     Master of Science in National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington D.C.




July 2001 – August 2002, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK

September 2002 – September 2005, T-1A Instructor Pilot, 32nd Flying Training Squadron, Vance AFB, OK

October 2005 – October 2006, Student, MC-130P Mission Pilot Qualification, Multiple Installations

November 2006 – March 2009, MC-130P Instructor/Evaluator Pilot & Flight Commander, 17th Special Operations Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan

April 2009 – March 2010, MC-130P Evaluator/Chief of Flight Safety, 353rd Special Operations Group, Kadena AB, Japan

April 2010 – March 2012, MC-130P Evaluator, Chief of Standardization & Evaluation and Assistant Operations Officer, 9th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin AFB, FL

April 2012 – April 2013, Chief Special Programs, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, FL

May 2013 – July 2014, Chief of Wing Plans & Programs, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, FL

August 2014 – July 2015 Student, National Intelligence University, Washington D.C.

August 2015 – August 2017, Congressional Liaison Officer, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington D.C.

September 2017 – January 2019, Operations Officer, 352 Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England

January 2019 – June 2020, Commander, 352 Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England

July 2020 – June 2021, Student, National War College, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.

June 2021 – July 2023, Military Deputy Director, Special Operations Legislative Affairs, Washington D.C.

August 2023 – Present, Deputy Commander, 353d Special Operations Wing, Kadena AB, Japan




Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: Over 3,800

Aircraft Flown: T-1A, MC-130P, MC-130J




2011 AFA BG Ross G. Hoyt Award Winner

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters

Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device

National Defense Service Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korean Defense Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

NATO Medal




Second Lieutenant                     22 June 2001

First Lieutenant                          22 June 2003

Captain                                     22 June 2005

Major                                        1 August 2011

Lieutenant Colonel                     1 August 2016

Colonel                                     1 August 2022


(Current as of August 2023)