News: Col. Michael Bank, a Darien resident, named to command 107th Airlift Wing Operations Group
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - New York Air National Guard Col. Michael W. Bank, a Darien resident and graduate of Elba High School, has assumed command of the 107th Airlift Wing Operations Group.
Bank took command of the unit in a ceremony held on Sunday, Feb. 10, and was also promoted to colonel during the event. He takes over for outgoing operations group commander, Col. Michael Mack who is retiring from the Air National Guard.
Bank has been in the Air Force for nearly 25 years. He was commissioned after completing the four-year ROTC program at Florida State University where he received a Bachelor of Computer and Information Systems degree.
From 1990-1994 Bank was an Instructor Navigator assigned to the 644th Bomb Squadron at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base. He joined the New York Air National Guard at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in 1994 and has held numerous positions, including chief of wing plans, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, and 136 ARS operations officer. Bank is a former senior navigator in the B-52H and KC-135R with more than 1,800 total flight hours and is currently a senior pilot with more than 5,000 total flight hours.
As the Operations Group commander, Bank is now responsible for managing the Operations Group fulltime force. He will provide trained aircrew to deploy and employ C-130 aircraft worldwide for federal contingencies and to support state emergencies.
Bank is the son of Michael and Arline Bank of Elba, N.Y. He currently lives in Darien, N.Y., with his wife, Kimberly, and children Kylynn and Kristian.
His parents and wife pinned on his new colonel insignia as he was promoted.
"It is an honor and privilege to take over the operations group. I am very proud to represent these airmen and to command them," Bank said.
Col. John Higgins, 107th Airlift Wing commander, spoke at the ceremony saying Col. Bank was chosen for this position for his "calm, thoughtful, thorough leadership and his unquestionable integrity and genuine concern for his troops."
"I firmly believe Col. Mike Bank is the right man for this job and he will safely and successfully lead the 107th Operations Group during his tenure in our current C-130 mission and any other mission we may transition into," Higgins said.
"It is a humbling experience knowing your superiors have faith in you. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead," Bank said.