144th Communications Flight becomes a Squadron

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jason Sanchez
  • 144th Fighter Wing

The 144th Communications Flight was officially redesignated as the 144th Communications Squadron during a ceremony at the Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, Feb. 4, 2024. Lt. Col. Michael Yamamoto, 144th Mission Support Group commander, lead the ceremony with Maj. Keith Lizama, 144 CF commander, representing the flight.

During the ceremony, the 144 CS guidon was revealed, and the 144 CF guidon was furled for the final time. Retired members of the 144 CF in addition to current members of the 144 FW attended the ceremony to support the redesignation.

Air National Guard units nationwide are redesignating their communications flights to communications squadrons due to the growing responsibilities and emerging mission-sets required of the communications career field.

“Information technology and computing technology is changing our world at a rapid pace, and we must adapt,” Yamamoto said.

Yamamoto also praised the Airmen for their commitment and meaningful work.

“These Airmen have earned the right to be called a Communications Squadron. They protect not only this base’s network from growing threats, but also the whole United States Air Force, as our base is a node on the Air Force network. They continue to engineer and build improvements to ensure our infrastructure is defended.”

Lizama echoed the important role of these Airmen, the technological changes that we face, and the pride he has for our Airmen.

“As technology intertwines further with warfare, understanding and securing cyberspace has become paramount in the broader spectrum of national defense and global stability, and our unit has been at the forefront of that effort.”

Chief Master Sgt. James Berg, 144th Communications Squadron Cyber Defense Operations senior enlisted leader, explained that the redesignation process took nearly a year. The unit had to provide proper documentation of their qualifications and coordinate with National Guard Bureau to ensure they met all the requirements.

“In addition to recognizing the missions that we are already fulfilling, this change prepares our unit for future mission sets and potential manpower increases,” said Berg. “As the cyber-world threats increase, we must have the right manpower to defend the network.”

Near the end of the ceremony, Lizama asked all the retirees to stand to be recognized, and he thanked them for their mentorship.

“Embracing the future isn’t merely about progress, but it’s a celebration of the culmination of efforts of countless predecessors and the current Airmen who have taken the oath to support this mission,” said Lizama. “It’s an oath to their resilience, a testament to their unwavering belief, and a passing of the torch of enlightenment.”

The core mission of the 144th Communications Squadron is to train, maintain, deploy, and deliver information operations capabilities across the full spectrum of air, space, and cyberspace domains. As such, cyber professionals deliver reliable and secure communications to ensure the success of their national, state, and local missions.