Outgoing commander Col. Ethan C. Griffin is headed to California.

Col. Ethan C. Griffin relinquished command of the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base in a ceremony Wednesday, May 30 at the base.

Col. Joel W. Safranek, former vice commander of the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, assumed command.

Safranek was commissioned in 1996 through the Air Force Academy and has held a number of positions in Oklahoma, Japan, North Dakota, Florida, California, Washington state and the Pentagon.

He has been deployed in support of nine different operations, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He was promoted to colonel in August 2015.

Griffin commanded the 436th AW since August 2016. His next assignment is command of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, Calif.

The 621st Contingency Response Wing has forces stationed in California and 20 Marine Corps and Army installations worldwide. It is responsible for deploying airmen to support numerous overseas missions.

Safrenek said his time as that wing’s second-in-command will serve him well in keeping with Dover’s mission to move personnel and material anywhere in the world.

Though he’s never been assigned to Dover, he’s heard only good things about the base.

“The contingency response mission really gets you set up to be prepared to deploy within 12 hours at any time, to any place in the world, and the reality is [Dover’s] aircraft will follow those forces in to whatever it is the Air Mobility Command needs them to do for that rapid global mobility,” the new commander said. “So by knowing what is done on the front end, it will help me with the aircraft that will be coming into those airfields afterward.”