Change of Command Honors Outgoing and Incoming Commanders

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Charles Vaughn
  • 144th Fighter Wing
Col. Sami D. Said assumed command of California's 144th Fighter Wing from Col. James L. McKoane before honored guests, family members, friends, and more than 500 members of the California Air National Guard, on May 14, 2011. In this ceremony, Col. Said assumed responsibility for more than 1,000 California Air National Guardsmen stationed in Fresno, Calif. 

This time honored tradition showcased how a change of command occurs with eight simple words and the passing of a guidon flag. Col. McKoane handed the flag to Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin, The Adjutant General, California National Guard, who in turn passed the flag to Col. Said and all the responsibilities the position entails.

"I am honored to be your commander and look forward to working with all of you," said Col. Sami D. Said, 144th Fighter Wing Commander. "I am excited about the challenging and rewarding opportunities that are right in front of us."

Brig. Gen. David Baldwin, who presided over the change of command, emphasized the wing's vital role in the California National Guard and expressed confidence in Col. Said's ability to lead the wing.

"He is not only an outstanding fighter pilot, he's an outstanding strategic leader and thinker who cares passionately and deeply," said Brig. Gen. Baldwin. "He's very well equipped to accomplish this mission, he has my full faith and confidence."

"Sami, I challenge you to make this wing the single best wing in the United States Air Force," concluded Brig. Gen Baldwin.