77 ARS Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight
  • 916th Air Refueling Wing
The 77th Air Refueling Squadron welcomed their new commander, Lt. Col. Darin D. Dial, during a change of command ceremony here, August 3.
With the passing of the guidon, the transfer of authority and responsibility was given from one commander to the next.
“It was an honor to lead the men and women of the 77 ARS,” said Col. Stephen A Cheek, outgoing commander of the 77 ARS. “I hope I made a small difference in the lives and careers of all the Totin’ Tigers I was fortunate to serve with. It was my time to step aside. However, I know that Lt. Col. Dial is the right choice to take the reign and lead the squadron through the conversion from the KC-135 to the next generation of air refueling, the KC-46. He will do a great job!”
Based off Dial’s career path and most recent assignment Cheek may be onto something. 
Dial previously served as the operations officer at the 56th Air Refueling Squadron under the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. In this role he oversaw the planning and execution for aircrew training along with qualification and training for initial cadre instructor pilots and boom operators as part of the Air Education and Training Command’s stand-up for the KC-46A Pegasus Formal Training unit.
With the 916th Air Refueling Wing transitioning from the KC-135 Stratotanker to the KC-46A, Dial could not have come at a better time.
“This squadron already has an outstanding reputation,” said Dial. “They excel at the air refueling mission and all other tasks they are provided. They have the highest flight time in the Air Force Reserve for a tanker unit. My expectations are to continue that history of success and leverage the experience and motivation of everyone in the squadron towards continuing the air refueling mission of the KC-135 and applying that same success to the KC-46.”
As Dial summarized his work plan and expressed how his family is loving the Goldsboro area, he is off to a good start.
Upon arriving to Goldsboro, Dial and his family plans to stick to their normal activities as they explore the local area. Dial, his wife and daughter always try to find something to do together. There’s nothing better than dinner and a movie, said Dial.
While family time is important, he is just as dedicated to putting his best foot forward and making the 77 ARS as successful as possible, said Dial.
“We’re super excited to be here,” said Dial. “Being an active duty commander of a reserve squadron is a very unique privilege. Joining a reserve squadron is a lot like joining a family and we’re excited to have that opportunity.”