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439th Airlift Wing welcomes new installation commander

Maj. Gen. Jeffery T. Pennington, Air Force Reserve Command 4th Air Force commander, passes the 439th Airlift Wing guidon to Col. Joseph D. Janik, the new 439th Airlift Wing Commander, during an assumption of command ceremony May 1, 2021, at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. Janik officially assumed command of the wing on April 14, 2021 after former commander Col. Craig C. Peters retired. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Underwood)

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. --

The 439th Airlift Wing welcomed their new commander, Col. Joseph D. Janik, during an assumption of command ceremony May 1 at the Base Hangar.

Janik officially took control of the wing on April 14, after the previous commander, Col. Craig C. Peters, retired.

“This wing is riding high right now,” said Janik. “We’re at the top of our game with the unit readiness inspection behind us with the grade of effective and one of the highest medical readiness rates in the command.”

Maj. Gen. Jeffery T. Pennington, Air Force Reserve Command 4th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

“We looked at what Westover needed, the skill set it needed, the experience of an amazing leader who’s proven himself already at a standalone wing,” said Pennington. “To get a chance to come…and lead one of our premier installations in the entire Air Force Reserve Command, Joe’s name rose to the top.”

Pennington spent two days touring the base, meeting with Westover personnel, and speaking with Janik.

“As I’ve gotten to know him here over the last couple days, I can see why those that have worked with him, served with him, speak so highly of him,” he said. “So I can tell you 439th, Chicopee, and the state of Massachusetts, you’re in good hands with Janik here at command. He’s going to do amazing things.”

Janik said he’s ready for the new experience and getting to know his new team.

“I’m excited to be a fellow Massachusian,” he said. “It’s been a great welcome here. I’ve been here a couple weeks and I’ve had a great welcome from the team. I’m excited, I’m looking forward to the journey of our new chapter opening up.”