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Guam Air National Guard gets new commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christine R. Martinez
  • Guam Air National Guard Public Affairs
More than 400 men and women form the Guam Air National Guard, their friends and families, members of the Family Readiness Groups, distinguished visitors and local leaders welcomed the new 254th Air Base Group commander during a change-of-command ceremony at Andersen Air Force Base Saturday.
Lt. Col. Johnny S. Lizama assumed command of the Guam Air National Guard's 254th ABG after Col. James J. Montague relinquished his command.
"Exactly five years and five months ago when I assumed command of the 254th ABG, I gave my 'It's good to be king even if it is only for a day' speech," said Colonel Montague who has commanded the Guam Air Guard since 2002. "In my remarks on March 12, 2002, I said "we are all kings in some form or fashion" and that still holds true today."
"As I look into the field, the faces staring back at me are all kings in their own right and as a result, have made all the difference in my command these past five years and five months," said the colonel.
Colonel Montague has achieved many accomplishments, some of which are historical, during his command. For his accomplishments, he was awarded an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal by Maj. Gen. Donald J. Goldhorn, the adjutant general of the Guam National Guard.
The adjutant general also awarded Lt. Col. Lizama an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding contributions while he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom recently.
Colonel Lizama said he was notified of his new assignment after returning from a recent deployment to Afghanistan.
"What do you do with a unit that has been excellent and outstanding their last two Unit Compliance Inspections?", he asked. "You get them through the upcoming exercises and inspections, and I'm sure we're up to the challenge. But what do you do with them after that?"
"You take them where they are needed by their service and needed by their country - you deploy them," said Colonel Lizama. "We will make a difference in the Global War on Terrorism, whether it'd be Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa or anywhere else in the world."
He added that while supporting the Air Force's global objectives, the Air Guard will continue to support the local, state and federal missions.
Colonel Lizama thanked his wife, Dee, and his children as they embark on another journey together. He also thanked General Goldhorn for this opportunity and thanked Colonel Montague for getting them this far, said Lizama. He ended his first remarks as the 254th ABG commander by offering a salute to all the members of the Guam Air Guard, including those who are deployed, and also to their friends and families.

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