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144th Medical Group Change of Command

U.S. Air Force  Col. John Blackburn the 144th Medical Group commander and his wife, Susan, Oct. 29, 2015, after his promotion ceremony held at the Fresno Air National Guard Base. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

U.S. Air Force Col. John Blackburn the 144th Medical Group commander and his wife, Susan, Oct. 29, 2015, after his promotion ceremony held at the Fresno Air National Guard Base. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Chris Drudge)

Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif. -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Blackburn assumed command of the 144th Medical Group during a ceremony held at Fresno Air National Guard Base, California Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at the base firehouse.

The former Medical Group Commander Col. Joseph Pascuzzo relinquished command to Blackburn during the change of command ceremony, which was presided over by Col. Clay Garrison, the commander of the 144th Fighter Wing.

When speaking of Pascuzzo and Blackburn's work in the medical group, Garrison said, "What has occurred inside the Med Group is phenomenal." Garrison went on to describe his confidence in Blackburn's leadership and his gratitude toward Pascuzzo.

Blackburn has served as deputy commander of the 144th Medical Group under Pascuzzo for six years. "Being a group commander is not the easiest job, but I think it's an extremely rewarding job. I've been blessed to have great people in the medical group and the support of the base," said Pascuzzo. "I couldn't have asked for a more loyal deputy commander than Lt. Col Blackburn. He will do a better job than me."

Pascuzzo will continue to serve as a deputy state air surgeon at the California Joint Force Headquarters in Sacramento. Garrison stated that he is pleased that Pascuzzo will also continue to serve as a representative for the 144th Fighter Wing. Even though members will not get to see Pascuzzo at every drill weekend, they will still be able to "see him around."

As the newly appointed commander, Lt. Col. Blackburn was promoted to Colonel Oct. 29, 2015 in front of family and friends at the Fresno Air National Guard Base.