Col. Janik takes command of 910th Airlift Wing at YARS

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RELATED: Outgoing 910th commander sees more growth on horizon

By William K. Alcorn


Air Force Reserve Col. Joseph D. Janik took over leadership of the 910th Airlift Wing during a change-of-command ceremony Saturday at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

Janik arrived at YARS in November 2017 to begin his assignment as vice commander and senior air reserve technician. He replaces Col. Daniel J. Sarachene, who became commander Feb. 1, 2017.

The 910th commander is also installation commander, thereby leading the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the 228-acre YARS that provides support for the nearly 2,000 assigned Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps reservists and civil service employees.

Leading the change-of-command ceremony, Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig L. LaFave also brought some good news for the survival of YARS.

He said the aging C-130 Hercules troop transport and cargo plane billeted at YARS will be updated and should be viable for at least another couple of decades.

“It’s a tough old bird,” he said.

However, he did not say anything about the 910th being in line to receive any of the new-age C-130 Js.

“I charged Janik to have the 910th ready, whatever happens,” LaFave said.

The 910th trains on and employs the C-130 H globally on medium range airlift, tactical air-land and airdrop and other missions, including the modular aerial spray system, for which it is well known.

During a press conference after the ceremony, attended by upwards of 900 airmen and women, Janik said YARS is in a good position because of strong support from its base-community council and significant projects such as completion of a multimillion-dollar shooting range and funding approval for a new $9 million front entrance to the air station.

Janik, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., began his Air Force career with four years of active duty before joining the Reserve.

After earning a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, he was commissioned at Officer Training School.

He has flown combat missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the 910th and YARS. Some people wait their entire lives to know if they made a difference. We in the Air Force don’t have that problem,” Janik said.

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