Wing Chaplin Accepts New Position
By Master Sgt. Matthew Millson, 144th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 31, 2016
FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. -- Chaplain Lt. Col. Westley J. Clare has accepted a position as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Chaplain at NorthCom Peterson AFB in Colorado.
Chaplain Clare has been a familiar figure around the base since his inception in 2005.
Clare started his career with the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force through ROTC. In 1986 he became a Navigator and Electronic Warfare Office. He served nuclear alert duty with Strategic Air Command and fl approximately 129 combat hours. After concluding his flying career in 1992, he attended the Seminary and began service as a Priest in the Anglican Communion.
He received his commission as a chaplain in 2002, first serving the 119th Fighter Wing in the North Dakota Air National Guard. In 2005 he began his service with the California Air National Guard as a chaplain for the 144th Fighter Wing.
Chaplain Clare will continue working as the State Chaplain for the California Joint Forces Headquarters, where he will assume the role as the new ANG Assistant to the Command Chaplain.
Clare welcomes the new position as just another opportunity to serve the brave men and women of the Air Force. He says it's a humbling experience to be selected and is honored he was chosen for such a rewarding the position.
Chaplain Clare said his position at NorthCom would be very similar with what his responsibilities were at the state level. He will still be responsible for planning and facilitating chaplain support during HAZMAT operations and mass casualty disaster operations, serving as cadre for Homeland Response Force (HRF) training and CERF-P (Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE), Enhanced, Response, Force , Package), but
the only difference will be he'll be acting more as a liaison between active duty (Title
10) and National Guard (Title 32) and the responsibilities and planning requirements which encompass the different status when the two of them become combined like in a major disaster like an earth quake occurs in Los Angles and both the National Guard and Active duty will interact in a combined role.
Lt Col. Clare said he draws his inspiration and energy from seeing, helping and healing distressed airmen. When asked how he would like to be remembered of by the men and women at the 144th Fighter Wing he said, "I hope people remember me as being a nice and caring person, the one who was always working for them and providing any necessary tools they needed to thrive and be the best they can be."
Col. Clay Garrison, Commander 144th Fighter Wing said, "He's an outstanding wing chaplain.
Probably one of the best that I've ever served with and the reason why is that he solves problems. He makes a difference and he mattered for our airmen and the wing. He's also been helpful to me as a leader, I relied on him for council and it was always good".
Master Sgt. Sergio Carrillo, 144th Fighter Wing Chaplain's Assistant said, I remember him always wanting to be there when someone was hurting and needing guidance. He just wanted to be around us making sure we were getting what we needed, assuring each and every one was getting to the place they needed to be. He was an awesome guy to work for and I consider him one of my closest friends.
Capt. Clayton Diltz, acting Wing Chaplain, said, "Of course, I'm sad to see him go, I wish he wasn't. He was a great mentor to me and our time together has been way too short. I really enjoyed knowing Chaplain Clare and consider him a friend and mentor."