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Change of Command Honors Outgoing and Incoming Commanders

Members of the 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, come to attention during the recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011.  The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Col. Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander.  (U.S. Air force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Members of the 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, come to attention during the recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Col. Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander. (U.S. Air force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Master Sgt. Nathan Krebs, 144th Medical Group's First Sergeant, stands at parade rest during the recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011.  The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Colonel Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander.  (U.S. Air force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Master Sgt. Nathan Krebs, 144th Medical Group's First Sergeant, stands at parade rest during the recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Colonel Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander. (U.S. Air force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin, The Adjutant General, California National Guard, speaks in front of the 144th Fighter Wing during a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011.  The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Col. Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin, The Adjutant General, California National Guard, speaks in front of the 144th Fighter Wing during a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader, Col. Sami D. Said, assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin, The Adjutant General, California National Guard, passes the unit's guidon flag to the new commander, Col. Sami D. Said during a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011.  The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin, The Adjutant General, California National Guard, passes the unit's guidon flag to the new commander, Col. Sami D. Said during a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The ceremony allows the unit to witness their new leader assume his dutiful position as the Wing Commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

The Honorable Ashton B. Carter (left), Under Secretary of Defense for Aquisition, Technology and Logistics, joined the new Wing Commander and Mr. Michael J. Bayer (right), The Chairman of the Defense Business Board, after a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The Honorable Ashton B. Carter congratulated Col. Sami D. Said on his new position as the 144th Fighter Wing Commander.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

The Honorable Ashton B. Carter (left), Under Secretary of Defense for Aquisition, Technology and Logistics, joined the new Wing Commander and Mr. Michael J. Bayer (right), The Chairman of the Defense Business Board, after a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The Honorable Ashton B. Carter congratulated Col. Sami D. Said on his new position as the 144th Fighter Wing Commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Fresno Mayor, Ashley Swearengin (left), joined the new Wing Commander and Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin (right), The Adjutant General, California National Guard, after a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The Mayor congratulated Col. Sami D. Said on his new position as the 144th Fighter Wing Commander.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Fresno Mayor, Ashley Swearengin (left), joined the new Wing Commander and Brig. Gen. David S. Baldwin (right), The Adjutant General, California National Guard, after a recent Change of Command Ceremony held in Fresno, Calif. on May 14, 2011. The Mayor congratulated Col. Sami D. Said on his new position as the 144th Fighter Wing Commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Loeffler/released)

Fresno, Calif. -- 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.