144th Fighter Wing Change of Command
By Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn, 144th Fighter Wing
/ Published April 02, 2016
FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE , Calif. -- Colonel Reed Drake assumed command of the 144th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony held here today.
Col. Drake assumed command from Brig. Gen. Clay Garrison who takes on the role of Assistant Adjutant General - Air, California National Guard.
Major General Jon Kelk, commander, California Air National Guard, was present to officiate the ceremony.
"Command is about one thing and that's about trust," said Kelk, "today we entrust the men, women, and the mission of the 144th Fighter Wing to Col. Drake."
As Kelk spoke during the ceremony he brought up the role Airmen play in making the wing and the wing commander successful.
"We have to do two things: be trained and ready Airmen, and take care of each other. If we do these two things we will help to ensure that Col. Drake is successful in his new role as commander," said Kelk.
As he relinquished command, Garrison took a moment to highlight some of the challenges and accomplishments during his tenure.
"We started two and a half years ago converting to the F-15 from the F-16. The Air Force gives you 36 months and this wing did it in 29 months. That doesn't happen without a tremendous effort," said Garrison. "It has been my great honor and privilege to have served with you and to have been your commander and I would go to war with anyone of you any day of the week and win."
Drake took a moment to speak to the men and women of the 144th Fighter Wing as he assumed the role of commander.
"To the men and women of the 144th Fighter Wing I'm humbled and honored to be your next wing commander and to have this opportunity to continue serving beside each and every one of you," said Drake.
Colonel Drake is a command pilot with over 4,600 hours in the T-37, T-38, F-16 and F-15.