VIENNA - The new commander of the 910th Airlift Wing says it all comes down to family.
In a ceremony Saturday marking the change of command from Brigadier Gen. Brian Dominguez to Col. James D. Dignan, Dignan told members of the wing at the ceremony that their reputation precedes them.
Dignan said that during his time in the service, he has run into people who are now stationed at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, and that helps contribute to the feeling that while they all have a job to do, they are part of the same family.
''Our families all touch each other, especially in the reserves,'' Dignan said.
Dignan replaces Dominguez, who has been at the base for four months and is returning to his previous duties as deputy commander of the 22nd Air Force in Dobbins, Ga., which oversees the 910th.
Dominguez said it is not easy leaving, even after just four months, because of the good work the reservists do and for the welcome they gave him and his family.
Col. James Dignan speaks Saturday during a change of command ceremony at the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna. Dignan is the new commander. Seated behind him are, from left, Maj. Gen. Wallace Farris, head of the 22nd Air Force, outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Brian Dominguez and Command Chief Master Sgt. Troy Rhoades.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
''I've got a heavy heart. I really, really do,'' Dominguez told the reservists.
Dominguez said the performance of the members of the wing made him look good.
''Man, have I been blessed,'' Dominguez said.
Maj. General Wallace Farris, head of the 22nd Air Force, praised the reservists for the commitment and sacrifices they make to serve. He said the reserves have changed a lot in the last 20 years and have become more time-consuming for members since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
He said Dominguez has done a great job leading up the 910th because of the work the reservists do.
''What I'm proud of and always am amazed by is you really do it and you really do it well,'' Farris said.
Farris said he picked Dignan to take Dominguez's place because Dignan is a strong leader.
''He (Dignan) knows how to make tough calls and he knows how to take care of his people,'' Farris said.
Dignan is taking over as budget cuts because of the sequestration deal in Washington may affect the base, especially its civilian workers. There are about 140 civilian workers at the base.
After the ceremony while he was meeting with the local media, Dignan said he is hopeful a compromise can be reached in the next couple of days. He said it is too soon to tell how the base may be affected if a compromise is not reached.
He said whatever happens the unit will adjust and its mission will be unaffected.
''We're servants of the taxpayers and the president,'' Dignan said.
Dominguez also told the reservists that they are so good in their jobs they will be able to weather any problems that the sequestration may bring their way. He said like a team, if they band together, they will weather any storm.
''Please take care of each other,'' Dominguez said. ''That's what championship teams do.''