ROME, N.Y. (AP) — A New York Air National Guard unit that's part of the nation's air defense system now has a new commander.

Col. Paul Bishop formally took command Thursday of the 224th Air Defense Group during a ceremony held at the Eastern Air Defense Sector in Rome in central New York.

Bishop, who lives in nearby Oriskany, has served in the Air National Guard for 30 years, with previous assignments that included service with the 174th Fighter Wing in Syracuse as an F-16 avionics maintenance specialist. In 1991, he served in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

The unit he now commands provides the forces for the Eastern Air Defense Sector, part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD. The sector provides coverage for the eastern U.S.