Scotia, NY — Clifton Park resident Dennis Donnell was the first woman to command the New York Air National Guard and was recently promoted to the two-star rank of major general.
In a press release provided by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, Donnell was promoted during a ceremony at Stratton Air National Guard Base, becoming one of only five women to achieve the rank of major general in the New York National Guard. Donnell’s rank was anchored by her father, Dr. Robert Donnell, and brother, Air National Guard Technical Sergeant. John Donnell.
In April 2022, Hochul appointed Donnell commander of 5,800 airmen in the country’s largest air security force.
“It is an honor to be recognized by Governor Hochul, the first woman to lead our state,” Donnell said in a press release. It makes a difference for men and women nearby and reflects their collective achievements.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate Major General Donnell’s historic achievements and her continued dedication to our state,” Hochul said. “New York has individuals, like Major General Donnell, who are willing to dedicate their careers to public service, answer calls, help her fellow New Yorkers, and risk themselves to serve the country. I feel very lucky to be here.”
Under Donnell’s command, the New York Air National Guard responds when disaster strikes in New York State and carries out important missions abroad.
Members of the Air National Guard’s 107th Attack Wing, based at the Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve, were among the first military personnel to respond to the blizzard that hit Buffalo over the Christmas holidays. A man and woman from the 107th rescued a motorist stranded in a whiteout, transported a critically ill patient, and one member gave birth to a baby girl, transporting the mother and baby to the hospital.
The 109th Airlift Wing, based at Stratton Air National Guard Base, flies the LC-130 and is the only force in the world with ski-equipped heavy lift aircraft. These aircraft can land on snow and ice and support the country’s Arctic strategy and the important climate research being conducted in Antarctica by the National Science Foundation in Antarctica.
Other New York Air Force units fly needed supplies around the world, fly remotely controlled aircraft on combat air patrols to protect U.S. and allied forces, track aircraft in domestic skies as part of NORAD, and monitor aircraft at sea. ready to help. New York was also the first state to have women in the National Guard. World War II veteran and nurse Norma Parsons served in 1956 at the 106th Tactical Hospital.
“Dennis Donnell was an excellent leader, an experienced pilot, and distinguished himself at all levels of command,” New York Deputy Secretary of State Maj. Gen. Raymond Shields said in a press release. “I am confident that the men and women of the New York Air National Guard will continue to meet all challenges presented to them under her leadership.
“She deserves this important promotion.”
Donnell began his military career in 1993 as a U.S. Navy aviator, flying the P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. She served in the Navy until her 2002, when she joined the 105th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard based in the Stewart Air National Guard, Newburgh, where she used the giant C-5A. I learned to fly the Galaxy Airplane.
She then commanded the 105th Aircraft Maintenance and Maintenance Squadron and mastered flying the C-17 Globemaster III before transferring to the 109th Airlift Wing in 2013.
Donnell commanded the 109th Conservation Group from 2013 to 2016. During that time, she qualified in her LC-130 Hercules aircraft with unique ski equipment flown by the 109th Airlift Wing and directed Air Force support to the National Science Foundation at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. bottom. During the 2014-2015 support season.
In 2016, he was assigned as Vice Commander of the 105th Airlift Wing, and the following year he assumed command of the 105th Airlift Wing. She retained that role until March 2022, a month before she was appointed commander of the New York Air National Guard by Governor Hochul.
Donnell graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Diplomatic Services. Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base. National Defense College with a Master’s Degree in Government Intelligence Leadership.
Meritorious Service Medal, Aviation Medal, Aviation Merit Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Excellence Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Combat Readiness Medal, Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Maritime Service Deployment Ribbon, and Army Reserve Medal.
Donnell and her husband Greg live in Clifton Park with their children Alison and Max.