New Commander at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

New Commander at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station

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VIENNA TWP., Ohio -

Major General Craig L. La Fave accepted back command in the ceremony, and then he passed on command of the 910th Airlift Wing, or the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, to Colonel Joseph D. Janik.

The history of the ceremony is a military formation rooted in a tradition dating back to the time of Frederick the Great of Prussia. In that period military organizations developed flags with unique and specialized colors and designs.

When soldiers followed their leaders into battle, they kept sight of their flag. If the banner still waved after the conflict, it was a sign that their side had not tasted defeat on the battlefield.

The flag was incorporated into the ancient change of command ceremonies. The organizational banner was exchanged in public for all to see that whoever holds the flag is the unchallenged sovereign leader of the armies.

The modern-day ceremony is symbolic, yet still announces to all the authority of the incoming commander in military tradition.

Major General Craig L. La Fave said, "The person selected for commander are most experienced officers and leaders, so it is the best of the best that get to be wing commander."

910th Commander Janik is familiar with the airlift wing. He was the Vice Commander and Senior Air Reserve Technician at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, or YARS.

Before that, he was the 22nd Air Force Director of Operations and Readiness at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.  He has flown combat missions in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

He has served as the squadron commander for the 327th Airlift Squadron, Little rock AFT, Arkansas. Janik is a native of Buffalo, NY. He and his family have called the valley home since 2017.

Colonel Janik said, "I am looking forward to the way ahead, working with the men and women of the 910th to stay mission ready."

Staying ready for any future Base Realignment Closure Commission or BRAC hearings is also critical.

Janik said, "The R in BRAC stands for realignment. Realignment means they may need to move a mission from somewhere else and relocate that mission, and that relocation could be in Youngstown that's why we are always looking ahead to make the Air Reserve Station stronger. From the newest small arms range to the new front gate for installation defense and we are continually working with our federal, state, and local elected officials. We also appreciate the strong community support we receive."

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