ROME, N.Y. - Editor's Note: Media interested in attending the change of command ceremony Feb. 17 should contact Tim Jones at (315) 334-6055 before 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9.<br /> <br /> New York Air National Guard Col. Dawne Deskins, an Air Guardsman since 1995, has been selected as the next commander of the Eastern Air Defense Sector. The change of command will take place at the Air Force Research Laboratory Friday, Feb. 17.<br /> <br /> Deskins will replace retiring Col. John Bartholf, who has led EADS since April 2008.<br /> <br /> Deskins served as the vice commander and Air Guard commander of EADS for the last four years. She will be the first female commander of the unit.<br /> <br /> Taking her place as the ranking Air Guardsman and Vice Commander at EADS will be Col. Wade F. Dewey, who currently serves as EADS deputy commander of operations.<br /> <br /> One of two North American Aerospace Defense Command air defense sectors in the Continental United States, EADS reports directly to First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, which are located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.<br /> <br /> The unit is responsible for the air defense of approximately 1 million square miles east of the Mississippi River. Because EADS is a New York Air National Guard unit that supports a federal mission, its Commander serves in an active-duty, federal status, while its Vice Commander serves as a New York Air National guardsmen under state Active Guard and Reserve orders.<br /> <br /> Deskins is a graduate of Ithaca College and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Cornell University ROTC Program in 1984. She attended Air Weapons Controller training at Tyndall Air Force Base and was assigned to the Northwest Air Defense Sector at McCord Air Force Base, Washington from 1988 to 1993.<br /> <br /> She has served as a Controller Training instructor and worked as program test director evaluating the Air Weapons Controller Training System.<br /> <br /> Since joining the New York Air National Guard in 1995 she has served in a variety of positions including Mission Crew Commander, Flight Commander, Assistant Director, Sector Operations Control Center and Chief, Exercise and Analysis and Deputy Commander, Support. She also has served as a NORAD Battle Commander.<br /> <br /> A graduate of the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College, Col. Deskins holds a masters degree in management from Florida State University.<br /> <br /> Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award and the Combat Readiness Medal, as well as the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal.<br /> <br /> Deskins resides in Cazenovia with her husband, Antonio. The couple has two children, Brittany and Derek.<br /> <br /> Dewey is a native of Anchorage, Alaska. A 1982 graduate of Robert Service High School, he attended the University of Alaska for one year. He then transferred and graduated in December 1984 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla., with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation/Aerospace.<br /> <br /> An F-16 fighter pilot, Colonel Dewey flew 79 combat hours during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has served in the New York Air National Guard and at EADS since 2004, where his assignments have included Chief of Current Operations, Director of Operations Support, Assistant Deputy Commander of Operations and Deputy Commander of Operations.<br /> <br /> Dewey is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.<br /> <br /> Dewey and his wife Selena reside in Marcy and have two children, Corinne and Mitchell.<br /> <br /> Media interested in attending the change of command ceremony should contact Tim Jones at (315) 334-6055 before 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9. <br /> <br /> The Eastern Air Defense Sector is headquartered at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. Staffed by active-duty New York Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces detachment, the unit supports the North American Aerospace Defense Command's integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) homeland defense mission. EADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern United States and directs a variety of assets to defend one million square miles of land and sea.