Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TOP STORY >> New era starting at 314th

Leader senior staff writer

Col. Daniel A. DeVoe assumed command of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base on Monday, with Maj. Gen. James B. Hecker officiating.

DeVoe replaces Col. James D. Dryjanski, who will serve as director of operations at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Hecker, commander of the 19th Air Force, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, said that DeVoe, a master navigator, started in maintenance and was first assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base in October 1999 as a student to qualify on the C-130, “never dreaming he might return some day as commander.”

“It’s wonderful to return to Little Rock,” DeVoe told the assembled airmen. “It’s a dream come true, taking command of such a distinguished organization.”

“Today is really all about you,” he told the airmen. “You are the foundation of C-130 tactical airlift, and the work we do together is as important as at any time in our history. There is no other place I’d rather be than here leading the historic 314th.”

DeVoe, who becomes the 60th commander of the 314th, had three consecutive assignments at Little Rock.

Between April 2003 and July 2005. He was senior evaluator navigator for the 50th Airlift Squadron, then deputy flight chief of the 463rd Airlift Group weapons and tactics, and in November 2004 he was promoted to flight commander.

He comes back to Little Rock from a stint as vice commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia.

After multiple maintenance positions and undergraduate navigator training, he held numerous flying assignments as a C-130 Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System navigator, instructor, evaluator, Prime Nuclear Airlift Force navigator and C-130 weapons officer.

He logged more than 430 combat hours supporting operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and served as the commander of the 570th Global Mobility Squadron, where he led a contingency-response squadron tasked to provide air base opening forces in both hostile and permissive environments.

He has served as an operations planner at U.S. Central Command as deputy executive officer, then as executive officer to the deputy commander.

DeVoe has a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the Executive Education Program in Driving Government Perfor-mance and was an Air Force Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

Dryjanski, a command pilot with more than 3,900 flight hours in Air Force transports executing worldwide air mobility missions, commanded the 387th Air Expeditionary Group in Southwest Asia.

He has instructed at the National War College, teaching courses on leadership, national security and strategy to senior military, government and international officers.

He and his wife, Celeste, have been nominated for the Gen. and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award, recognizing the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position.

Hecker praised Dryjanski for creative leadership and problem solving. At the wing’s most recent readiness inspection, it received an overall rating of effective, with highly effective rating in the areas critical to mission readiness.

“These operators and maintainers are the best, and I’m proud of the unit and team success,” he said.

Under Dryjanski’s command, 2,300 C-130 crewmen from 47 countries, graduated from training at Little Rock with a 99 percent graduation rate.

“Jim has done a great job,” Hecker said.

The 314th Airlift Wing is transitioning to an all-C-130J wing with 13 Js and two more on the way.