ROME, N.Y. - The Canadian Forces Detachment at the Eastern Air Defense Sector officially changed commanders this morning during a formal ceremony at the New York Air National Guard facility.<br /> <br /> Lt. Col. Kyle Paul assumed command from Lt. Col. l David Pletz, who finished his two-year tour of duty as Canadian detachment commanding officer. Paul's responsibilities will include leading the 15-member Canadian detachment and serving as part of the EADS staff.<br /> <br /> "Canadian Forces personnel are a critical part of EADS daily operations and play an essential role in protecting the North American airspace," said Col. Dawne Deskins, EADS commander. "On behalf of the unit, I want to welcome Lt. Col. Paul and his family to EADS and thank Lt. Col. Pletz and his family for their service and wish them well in their new assignment."<br /> <br /> A formal change of command ceremony is a long-standing Canadian military tradition marking the public transfer of command responsibilities. <br /> <br /> Canadian Lt. Gen. J.A.J. Parent, deputy commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), based in Peterson AFB, Colo., presided over the ceremony.<br /> <br /> The Eastern Air Defense Sector is headquartered at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. <br /> <br /> Staffed by active duty New York Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces Detachment, the unit supports the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) homeland defense mission. <br /> <br /> EADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern United States and directs a variety of assets to defend 1 million square miles of land and sea.