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New Commanders at the Eastern Air Defense Sector

Rathmell is new ADS Commander

Lt. Col. Steven H. Rathmell, right, salutes 224th Air Defense Group Commander Col. Paul Bishop, left, during the 224th Air Defense Squadron’s May 27 virtual change-of-command ceremony. Rathmell took command from Col. Joseph Roos, center, who became the 224th ADG Commander on Thursday. 224th ADS Chief Enlisted Manager, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Armitage, is pictured holding the ADS guidon. The traditional guidon exchange was eliminated from the ceremony due to COVID-19 health concerns.

Bishop is new EADS Commander

Col. Paul M. Bishop, right, saluted Lt. Gen. Marc H. Sasseville, the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Region (CONR)-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) Commander, during the guidon exchange at the Eastern Air Defense Sector’s virtual change of command ceremony on May 21. Due to COVID-19 health restrictions, Lt. Gen. Sasseville presided over the ceremony, which was held in Rome, New York, via video teleconference from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. In the center, with the guidon, is Chief Master Sgt. Tammy Weber, 224th Air Defense Group Senior Enlisted Leader. Col. Emil Filkorn, EADS outgoing Commander, is on the left.

Roos is New 224th ADG Commander

Col. Joseph F. Roos, right, incoming Commander of the 224th Air Defense Group, salutes New York Air National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Timothy J. LaBarge, left, during a change-of-command ceremony held May 28 at the Eastern Air Defense Sector in Rome. Roos replaces Col. Paul M. Bishop, center, who moves on to become the Eastern Air Defense Sector Commander. Chief Master Sgt. Tammy Weber is pictured behind the table with the 224th ADG guidon. Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the traditional guidon exchange was eliminated and attendance was limited only to immediate family and ceremonial participants.

Three New York Air National Guard officers became new commanders this week at the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS).

Due to the COVID-19 health restrictions, all three change-of-command ceremonies were conducted virtually with attendance limited to immediate family and ceremonial participants.

Col. Paul M. Bishop took command of the Eastern Air Defense Sector on May 21, with an official first day of command on May 28.

Col. Joseph F. Roos took command of the New York Air National Guard's 224th Air Defense Group from Bishop on May 28.

Lt. Col. Steven H. Rathmell took over command of the 224th Air Defense Squadron from Roos on May 27

Col. Paul M. Bishop, Eastern Air Defense Sector Commander
The EADS change-of-command ceremony took place on May 21. Lt. Gen Marc H. Sasseville, Commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Region (CONR)-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern), was the ceremony’s presiding officer. Sasseville participated from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida via video teleconference.

Bishop replaces Col. Emil J. Filkorn. Filkorn is transferring to Headquarters Air Force in Washington, D.C., where he will serve as the First Air Force representative on the staff of the Chief Architect, Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

“The Eastern Air Defense Sector is an absolutely critical component of NORAD’s ability to execute its mission of aerospace warning and control. That is why it is vital to ensure that EADS is well trained, equipped and led,” Sasseville said. “I’m proud of Col. Filkorn, his leadership, and where he has taken the men and women of the great state of New York who are the Sector. Undoubtedly, Col. Bishop will continue this tradition of excellence and raise the bar once again.”

“EADS defends more than 180 million Americans all day, every day, and it is an honor to become the Commander,” Bishop said. “I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with our outstanding Airmen to overcome the difficult challenges we currently face.”

A life-long resident of nearby Oriskany, Bishop has a lengthy association with the former Griffiss Air Force Base, now the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, where EADS is located.

The son of an active-duty Airman stationed at Griffiss in the 1970s, Bishop’s mother also worked on the base. The new Commander’s first job as a teenager was bagging groceries at the Griffiss commissary and he has served at EADS for the past 26 years.

Bishop takes command during a time of unprecedented challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the unit to take stringent steps to protect the health of its operational workforce. All non-essential military and civilian personnel currently telework, masks are mandatory throughout the facility, and no visitors are allowed.

Bishop is a 1989 U.S. Air Force basic training graduate with more than 30 years’ experience in the Air National Guard. His first assignment was at the 174th Fighter Wing in Syracuse, where he was an F-16 avionics maintenance specialist. In 1991, he deployed with the 174th to Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia, for Operation Desert Storm.

In 1993, Bishop transferred to the 113th Air Control Squadron (ACS) in Syracuse and subsequently received his commission through the Academy of Military Science at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. He then completed Weapons Director training at Tyndall AFB.

In 1994, Bishop moved to Rome when the 113th ACS assumed the NORAD mission at the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS).

During the past 26 years, Bishop has worked more than 31,000 mission crew hours and held several leadership positions. He holds numerous Air Battle Management qualifications including Battle Commander, Mission Crew Commander, Weapons Director, Weapons Director Technician, Weapons Assignment Officer and Senior Director.

Bishop has played a key role in several critical projects during his time at EADS. He helped plan and implement NEADS transition into the Eastern Air Defense Sector, a change that more than doubled the unit’s geographic area of responsibility. Bishop planned and executed the first-ever live-fly exercise in the Washington, D.C. area that integrated NORAD fighter planes with U.S. Army ground-based air defense assets, and supervised an analysis project that devised a new work schedule to reduce crew fatigue.

Prior to taking command of EADS, Bishop was the 224th Air Defense Group (ADG) Commander. During his time at EADS, he has also served as the 224th Support Squadron Commander, 224th Air Defense Squadron Operations Director, Flight Commander, Assistant Flight Commander and Weapons Section Officer-in-Charge.

A 1998 graduate of Columbia College, Bishop has completed the Squadron Officers Course at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He has also completed Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

Bishop and his wife Leah live in Oriskany. They have two daughters, Carissa and Regan.

Col. Joseph F. Roos, 224th Air Defense Group Commander
Roos formally became Commander of the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Group Thursday.

New York Air National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Timothy J. LaBarge served as the ceremony’s presiding officer. Conducted in accordance with social distancing guidelines, the ceremony was made available to unit Airmen through the facility’s internal television network and video sharing platforms.

Roos took command from Bishop, who became Eastern Air Defense Sector Commander earlier in the day. 

“I’m thankful for this opportunity and honored to take command of such a dedicated group of Airmen and civilians,” Roos said. “I look forward to working with our new Commanders and Airmen throughout the organization to find more effective ways to conduct our critical air defense mission.”

A native of East Syracuse, Roos graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1996 with a degree in civil engineering. Commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, his first assignment was at the 325th Training Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Florida.

Roos earned Distinguished Graduate honors at the Undergraduate Air Battle Manager School at Tyndall and was subsequently assigned to the 603rd Air Control Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy. During his time at Aviano, he was qualified as a Weapons Director, Evaluator Air Surveillance Officer and Evaluator Senior Director, and participated in Operation Deliberate Guard, Noble Anvil and Allied Force. During this tour, Roos received the U.S. Air Forces in Europe 1999 Air Battle Manager of the Year award.

In 2000, he was re-assigned to the 325th Training Squadron, where he served as an Instructor Air Battle Manager, Flight Commander, and Chief of Training. Responsible for the instruction of over one-third of the nine-month Air Battle Manager course, Roos taught more than 500 future Air Battle Managers during his tenure and was the 325th Air Control Squadron Flight Commander of the Year in 2002.

In 2003, Roos joined the New York Air National Guard and was assigned to the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome. Since that time, he has served in several positions including Evaluator Senior Director, Evaluator Mission Crew Commander, Flight Commander, Inspector General, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, and Operations Director.

Prior to becoming the 224th ADG Commander, Roos was the 224th Air Defense Squadron Commander.

Roos is married and has three children.

Lt. Col. Steven H. Rathmell, 224th Air Defense Squadron Commander
Rathmell became the Commander of the 224th Air Defense Squadron Wednesday afternoon.

Rathmell took command from Roos, the new 224th ADG Commander.

A 26-year veteran, Rathmell joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard in May 1994. Shortly after enlisting, he attended officer training at McGhee-Tyson ANGB, Tennessee and received his commission in November 1994.

After graduating from Air Weapons Controller training at Tyndall AFB, Florida in January 1995, Rathmell was assigned to the New York Air National Guard’s Northeast Air Defense Sector.

Rathmell has held several important positions since joining the Sector. These positions include Air Weapons Officer, Senior Director, Mission Crew Commander, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, Flight Commander, Chief, Standardization and Evaluations, and Assistant Director of Operations.

Prior to becoming Commander, Rathmell was the Director of Operations at the 224th ADS.

Rathmell has deployed to the Joint Air Defense Operations Center in Washington D.C. numerous times in support of the Army’s ground-based air defense of the National Capitol Region (NCR). An “exceptionally qualified” Senior Air Defense Officer (SADO), Rathmell also deployed in late 2018 to support the 601st Air Operations Center’s continuity of operations’ efforts, necessitated by the destruction of Tyndall AFB by Hurricane Michael.

Other significant accomplishments include playing a key role in the 2006 transition of the Northeast Air Defense Sector into the Eastern Air Defense Sector, a move that doubled the Sector’s size, scope and responsibility. Rathmell also directed and controlled combat air patrols and airborne early warning missions over major U.S. cities in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Rathmell has more than 30,000 mission crew hours conducting the Sector's air defense mission.

The New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Group (ADG) is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and 224th Support Squadron, located in Rome, and Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 that serve in the Washington, D.C. area. The 224th ADG provides the forces to conduct the Eastern Air Defense Sector’s (EADS) mission. Part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S.