August 26, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Col. Robert Becklund has been named commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard's 119th Fighter Wing, also known as the "Happy Hooligans,"
Becklund replaces Col. Richard Utecht, who is taking a job with the state's Joint Force Headquarters.
The 119th Fighter Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG), is headquartered at Fargo, N.D. The "Happy Hooligans" have 22 F-16 fighter jets, and 300 active-duty and 700 part-time Guard members.
They also station fighter pilots at an alert post at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, thus providing air defense for a large portion of the eastern United States.
The 119th is transitioning to become a multi-role fighter aircraft wing with both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat strike missions.
Last year the Wing has set a record for safety as they had flown more than 60,000 hours without an accident.