CAPT Blake Tornga was born in Great Falls, Montana and grew up in Dickinson, North Dakota. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1990 and served as an Aviation Electronics Technician and P-3 Orion Enlisted Aircrewman with VP-92 based at NAS South Weymouth, MA.
After graduation from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1996, he earned Naval Flight Officer wings and later qualified as an Electronic Counter Measures Officer in the EA-6B Prowler in 2000.
CAPT Tornga commanded VAQ-133, deploying to the Western Pacific aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in 2016, the squadron’s first deployment flying the EA-18G Growler.
Other sea tours include: VAQ-136, stationed at NAF Atsugi, Japan, making multiple deployments aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63); VAQ-134, deploying twice to Bagram, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, where he was selected as the Commander Electronic Attack Wing Pacific Prowler Tactics Instructor of the Year; and VAQ-135, deploying aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) again supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
CAPT Tornga’s shore assignments include: Electronic Attack Weapons School where he taught advanced radar jamming tactics, techniques, and procedures, and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Association Outstanding Leadership Award; College of Naval Command and Staff and the Navy Operational Planning Course at the U.S. Navy War College in Newport, RI, where he earned a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2008; U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany where he directed the U.S. joint military activities with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia; and the U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and US SIXTH FLEET combined staff in Naples, Italy, where he was Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy.
Previous to assuming command of the NROTC Unit at the University of Minnesota in October 2020, CAPT Tornga was the Commanding Officer of Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, located in the British Indian Ocean Territory.
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (10 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), as well as numerous unit and campaign awards.
His service is made possible by the support of his wife Tammy and their children Kyle, Jobun, Takara, and Kaelan.