Celebrating a change of command

Youngstown Air Reserve Station 910th Airlift Wing welcomes commander Col. Joseph D. Janik

VIENNA — The 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station welcomed Col. Joseph D. Janik as the new wing commander during the change of command ceremony on Saturday.

Janik assumed his duties as Col. Daniel J. Sarachene relinquished his. Janik came to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in November 2017 when he served as vice commander of the wing under Sarachene.

As the wing commander, Janik will be responsible for the combat readiness of 14 units with more than 1,200 personnel and eight assigned C-130H Hercules tactical cargo transport aircraft. He also will be responsible for maintaining the Department of Defense’s only large area, fixed-wing aerial spray unit as well as general day-to-day operations and maintenance.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be here for about 15 months. I recently moved from Buffalo, N.Y. to Canfield over the summer and being the vice wing commander already, I had the opportunity to get to know everyone and the intricacies and processes of the 910th,” said Janik. “I am humbled with this opportunity.”

Janik previously served as the 22nd Air Force director of Operations and Readiness at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia until November 2017. Before that, he served at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to Col. Sarachene. It was awesome to work with him for 15 months as his vice commander here. I also worked with him up in Niagara Falls where I was the operation group commander, so I already had a relationship with him and coming here was a good fit, just two friends getting back together to get the mission done,” said Janik. “I’m looking forward to the way ahead and working with the men and women of the 910th to stay mission ready.”

Sarachene also spoke of his friendship with Janik.

“He (Janik) is an outstanding airman. He’s a great officer, he’s a good person, someone I call my friend and an excellent teammate. We are fortunate to have him lead the 910th,” said Sarachene.

Sarachene also was honored with the Legion of Merit Award. According to the Air Force website, the award is given for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.” It is seventh in the order of precedence of U.S. military awards.

“The best thing to happen to me in my professional career, was being honored and privleged to be the 910th Commander,” said Sarachene as he pulled out a selfie stick to take photos to commemorate his time as commander. “No one serves alone. I certainly couldn’t perform my job without the love and support from my family, from my teamates in the formation. I am grateful.”

According to his biography, Sarachene is an accomplished command pilot who has deployed to and flown countless missions while supporting operations including Desert Calm, Provide Promise, Joint Endeavor, Joint Enterprise, Cobra Gold, Coronet Oak, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Hurricane Andrew Relief, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav Aerial Spray, Unified Response, Deepwater Horizon and New Dawn.

“Some people spend their entire life wondering if they’d made the right decision. We don’t have that problem. No air force and no wing is better than its airmen. Aim high,” said Sarachene.

bshiller@tribtoday.com

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