Brigadier General Denise Donnell was sworn in Saturday as the new commander of the 5,900-member New York Air National Guard, the aerial arm of the New York National Guard.
She is the first female officer to hold the position.
Donnell takes over from Major General Timothy LaBarge, who is retiring after commanding two air wings and leading the New York Air National Guard since 2018 during a 39-year career.
“This is a proud day in New York to recognize the achievements and leadership skills of a woman who has risen through the ranks to serve as a model of selflessness for all New Yorkers,” Gov. Hochul said.
Donnell, a Georgetown University graduate who served in the Navy from 1993 to 2002, is a command pilot with over 4,400 hours of flying time, including 280 hours in combat.
She’s flown the Navy’s P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft, the Air Force’s C-5A Galaxy, LC-130 Hercules “Skibird” and the C-17 Globemaster III, and has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. As a naval aviator, Donnell served as an evaluator pilot, mission commander, and quality assurance officer assigned to Patrol Squadron 46, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
The change of command ceremony took place at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.