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New ADG and ADS commanders at EADS

  • Published

A combined assumption of command and change of command ceremony on June 30 formally installed two new commanders at the Eastern Air Defense Sector.

During the ceremony, Col. Steven H. Rathmell became commander of the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Group and Lt. Col. Jennifer L. King became the 224th Air Defense Squadron commander.

Maj. Gen. Denise M. Donnell, the New York Air National Guard commander, was the ceremony’s presiding officer.

Rathmell replaced Col. Joseph Roos, who became the EADS commander on May 23.

A 29-year veteran, Rathmell joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard in May 1994. Shortly after enlisting, he attended officer training at the Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, where he received his commission in November 1994.

After graduating from the Air Weapons Controller course at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Rathmell was assigned to the Northeast Air Defense Sector.

Rathmell has held several positions since joining the Sector. These positions include air weapons officer, senior director, mission crew commander, chief of the weapons and tactics section, chief of the standardization and evaluation section, flight commander, and the director of operations.

Rathmell has deployed several times to the Joint Air Defense Operations Center in Washington, D.C. to support the National Capital Region air defense mission. He also deployed as part of the 601st Air Operations Center’s continuity of operations’ efforts in 2018, which were necessitated by Hurricane Michael’s destruction of Tyndall AFB.

Other career milestones include directing combat air patrols after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and helping convert the Northeast Air Defense Sector into the Eastern Air Defense Sector, a move that doubled the Sector’s size, scope, and responsibility.

Rathmell has more than 30,000 mission crew hours conducting the Sector's air defense mission. Prior to becoming the ADG Commander, he served as the 224th ADS commander.

King takes command of the 224th ADS

King succeeds Rathmell as the 224th ADS commander.

A 20-year veteran, King joined the Air Force in 2003. After completing the Air Battle Manager course at Tyndall AFB, she served with the 965th Air Control Squadron at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, where she was an air weapons officer, air surveillance officer, flight scheduler, and surveillance flight commander.

In 2009, King returned to Tyndall AFB as a member of the 325th Air Control Squadron, where she was an instructor air battle manager, operations training officer and executive officer.

King joined to the New York Air National Guard in 2011 and was assigned to EADS. Since joining EADS, she has held several positions, including air weapons officer, senior director, mission crew commander, flight commander, and joint interface control officer. As the JICO, King simultaneously worked in the Air Force Command and Control Requirements Office, where she managed advanced sensor integration, integrated fire control, and joint combat identification projects.

While serving as a flight commander, King led her team to the Air National Guard’s Ground-Based Battle Management Command and Control Crew of the Year award.

King has won several individual awards as well. She has been the top graduate or distinguished graduate at six Air Force courses, including Squadron Officer School, and graduated from Air Command and Staff College with outstanding distinction. She has won the Air National Guard Air Battle Manager of the Year and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region Command and Control Warrior of the Year awards. King also received the CONR and NORAD outstanding field grade officer awards in 2021.

Prior to becoming commander, King was the 224th ADS Director of Operations.

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.

For more information about the New York Air National Guard, visit For more information on the Eastern Air Defense Sector and 224th Air Defense Group, visit or