In a change of command ceremony held at the Air National Base at Fresno-Yosemite Air Terminal, Col. Clay Garrison of Madera became the new commander of the 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard. Garrison replaces Brig. Gen. Sami D. Said, who will be leaving for Afghanistan.
Garrison graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. He began his Air Force career at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. After 14 years of active duty, he joined the Air National Guard in 2002. As a command pilot he has more than 3,600 hours in the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” and is a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF F-16 Weapons School.
The ceremony Saturday began with the roar and takeoff of three F-16s. In front of nearly the entire unit of 1,000 airmen of the 144th, family, friends and dignitaries, Said told his airmen that he was proud of them and would remember them from 7,000 miles away. “You are the premier fighter wing of the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard,” stated Said.
According to the officiating officer Brig. Gen. Jon K. Kelk, the change of command ceremony dates back to Frederick the Great of Prussia...