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    NY Air National Guard gets new commander in June 3 ceremony

    New York Air National Guard change of Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Stephanie Butler | Brigadier General Michael Bank, right, a Darien Center resident, accepts the flag of...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    Latham, NY — New York Air National Guard Brigadier General Michael Bank, a Darian Center resident, took command of the 5,800-member New York Air National Guard during a ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham on Monday, June 3.

    Bank is replacing Major General Denise Donnell, a resident of Clifton Park, who has led the nation's largest Air Guard component since 2022. Donnell is retiring after 31 years of service: nine in the Navy and 22 in the New York Air National Guard.

    Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York, praised both Bank and Donnell in his remarks.

    Shields, who commands the 16,000 members of the New York National Guard, said that Donnell had done a tremendous job leading the New York Air Guard.

    "The capabilities and responsibility of the New York Air National Guard are amazing," Shields said.

    New York's Air Guard men and women, who operate in five flying wings, the Eastern Air Defense Sector, and two remote air defense units in the Washington, D.C. area, conduct missions around the world, around the clock, "he said.

    "We know you are the right leader to follow Denise's highly successful command tour," Shields told Bank, who entered the Air Force in 1994.

    "You are assuming command of a very vigorous, busy, and capable organization, he added.

    Bank, who entered the Air Force in 1988 and transferred to the Air National Guard in 1994, said he was "deeply honored and humbled" to have the opportunity to lead the New York Air Guard.

    "Major General Shields, thank you for entrusting to me lead these fine service members if the ranks of the New York Air National Guard," Banks said.

    He thanked his family for their support during his 36-year military career, as well as the Airmen and officers he has served with over the years.

    "Our Airmen, and their families, are our foundation, the reason we exist as an organization," Bank said. "We don't have a mission without them."

    "We will continue to relentlessly strive and fill our ranks," he added.

    Bank earned his commission in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Florida State University.

    He joined the Active Air Force in 1988 and served as a B-52 bomber navigator until 1994, when he transferred to the New York Air National Guard's 107th Refueling Wing in Niagara Falls, New York.

    In 1999, he qualified as a pilot and then served in a number of positions in the 107th as it transitioned to an airlift wing.

    From 2015 to 2020, he served as the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing, based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach on Long Island.

    Since 2020 he has served as an assistant adjutant general for the New York Air National Guard, while also serving as Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander of the U.S., Air Force Expeditionary Center, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.


    Date Taken: 06.03.2024
    Date Posted: 06.03.2024 15:35
    Story ID: 472905
    Location: LATHAM, NEW YORK, US

    Web Views: 208
    Downloads: 1