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142nd SFS conducts change of command ceremony

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Barton, incoming 142nd Security Forces commander, gives remarks during a change of command ceremony at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Aug. 2, 2020. A limited number of family and Airmen attended the event due to COVID-19 restrictions.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Barton, incoming 142nd Security Forces commander, gives remarks during a change of command ceremony at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Aug. 2, 2020. A limited number of family and Airmen attended the event due to COVID-19 restrictions. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Valerie R. Seelye)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Barton, center, assumes command of the 142nd Security Forces Squadron from Lt. Col. Caleb Westfall, right, during a change of command ceremony at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Aug. 2, 2020. Westfall retired directly after the change of command.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Barton, center, assumes command of the 142nd Security Forces Squadron from Lt. Col. Caleb Westfall, right, during a change of command ceremony at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Aug. 2, 2020. Westfall retired directly after the change of command. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Valerie R. Seelye)

PORTLAND, Ore. --

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Barton assumed command of the 142nd Security Forces Squadron during a change of command ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Aug. 2, 2020.

Barton assumed command from Lt. Col. Caleb Westfall, who retired directly after relinquishing command.

“Westfall has been the epitome of a defender and always carried [the squadron’s] concerns and needs as his own,” said Col. Christopher Lantagne, 142nd Mission Support Group commander, who presided over the ceremony. “You leave this position knowing that you left the organization in a better position than you found it.”

At a traditional change of command ceremony, a guidon staff representing the unit is passed on to the new commander. Due to social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines, the staff was not physically passed on.

“While we will not accomplish the passing of the unit colors in this ceremony today, we acknowledge the heritage, tradition, and symbolism represented in such an act for the transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit from one commander to another,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Earl, 142nd SFS administrative superintendent, during opening remarks.

Barton is not unknown to the 142nd Wing, as his spouse, Lt. Col. Kelly Barton, is the 142nd Force Support Squadron commander.

Lantagne reflected on Barton’s excellence and welcomed him to the unit.

“He is the poster child of ‘excellence in all we do,’ and what a fully-trained security forces commander probably should look like,” Lantagne said. “He has continually set himself apart from his peers and has proven the ability to command a SFS not once, but twice. I don’t think I could’ve found a better replacement for Caleb, so welcome to the team.”