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Sector to receive new commander, vice commander

ROME, N.Y. -- A new commander was selected for the Northeast Air Defense Sector and will assume command during a Change of Command ceremony April 4 at 2 p.m. The new vice commander will take charge as the N.Y. Air National Guard Title 32 commander during the ceremony as well. 

     Col. John Bartholf, the current NEADS vice commander and Title 32 New York Air National Guard NEADS commander, was selected by leadership at NEADS' higher-headquarters, located at First Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. 

     Colonel Bartholf will replace the outgoing commander, Col. Clark Speicher, who will retire in a separate ceremony April 5 at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in the Air Force Research Laboratory auditorium located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, N.Y. 
   
      According to First Air Force, the competition for this coveted position was stiff. The senior officer applicants were top-quality Airmen with many accolades and accomplishments to their credit. 

     The future of NEADS is bright, said Colonel Speicher. As the current NEADS vice commander, Colonel Bartholf has the requisite experience and demonstrated leadership to lead the organization into the future as an indispensable partner of the U.S. Theater Air Control System as we work collectively to protect our citizens from threats of all types. 

     In August 2003, Colonel Bartholf was selected to be the NEADS operations group commander and served in that capacity for over a year. April 2005, he was selected to be the NEADS vice commander. He deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq, as the deputy operations group commander of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing where he earned a Bronze Star. The colonel is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flight hours. 

     New York ANG leadership confirmed Monday that Col. Dawne Deskins, currently the deputy commander of support at NEADS, was selected to become the next vice commander and Title 32 NYANG commander. 

     In 1995, Colonel Deskins separated from active duty Air Force and joined NEADS and the NYANG. At NEADS, in a variety of positions including Mission Crew Commander, flight commander, assistant director, Sector Operations Control Center and chief, Exercise and Analysis. Colonel Deskins currently serves on the Sector Battle Staff as a NORAD Battle Commander. 

     NEADS has both a Title 10 federal commander and Title 32 commander because the unit performs a federal mission and is a NYANG organization. NEADS is one of two North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) air defense sectors in the Continental United States (CONUS) and reports directly to First Air Force and the CONUS NORAD region, both collocated at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. NEADS is responsible for the aerospace defense of the eastern United States and supports NORAD's Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment and NORTHCOM's homeland defense missions. 

     Major Gen. Hank Morrow, First Air Force commander, and Maj. Gen. Robert Knauff, NYANG commander, is scheduled to officiate and attend the Change of Command Ceremony April 4. General Knauff will be officiating Colonel Speicher's ceremony April 5. 

Media interested in covering this event should R.S.V.P. to Public Affairs at (315) 335-6536. 

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