NY Air Guard's new senior enlisted leader takes over on Friday, March 10

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Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Hewson

LATHAM, NY (03/09/2023) (readMedia)-- A veteran pararescue jumper who served in the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan will become the top enlisted leader in the 5,880-member New York Air National Guard during a March 10 ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham.

Members of the press are invited to cover the ceremony.

WHO: Incoming New York Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Hewson, a Queens resident; outgoing New York Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson, a Schuylerville resident, and Major General Denise Donnell, the commander of the New York Air National Guard and the presiding officer at the ceremony.

WHAT: A change of responsibility ceremony during which Richardson will formally turn over his duties as the senior enlisted advisor to Donnell to Hewson. Richardson, who has been in the position since 2020 has been tapped to become the senior enlisted Airman for the 1st Air Force.

WHEN: 1 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2023

WHERE: New York National Guard headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, New York

Coverage Opportunities:

Reporters can interview the incoming and outgoing command chief master sergeants. Video and still opportunities include the formal change of responsibility ceremony.

For access to this secure military facility reporters must call the New York National Guard public affairs office at 518-786-4581 by noon on March 10.


Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Hewson:

Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Hewson is a resident of Glendale in Queens, and previously served as the senior non-commissioned officer in the 106th Rescue Wing, based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base on Long Island.

He is a pararescue jumper who has served in the New York air National Guard since 1989, after serving two years in the active Air Force.

He is also a retired Suffolk County Police officer who served for 25 years, retiring from the Emergency Services Unit in 2018.

As part of the 106th, Hewson has deployed to the Horn of Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan, including service in Operation Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

He also supported NASA space shuttle launches, civilian search and rescue operations, long-range open ocean rescue missions, hurricane relief and responded to the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

During his career, Hewson's major awards have been two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, two Aerial Achievement Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, two Meritorious Unit Awards and two Combat Readiness Medals.

Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson

Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson has served as the senior enlisted leader for the New York Air National Guard since 2020. Prior to that he held the same position in the 109th Airlift Wing, based at Stratton Air National Guard base in Scotia.

Richardson has been selected to replace Command Chief Master Sgt. Mikael Sundin as the commander chief for the 15,000-member 1st Air Force.

Richardson joined the Maryland Air National Guard in 1989 and served as an Aircrew Life Support specialist. He transferred to the 109th Airlift Wing and a full-time National Guard position in 1997.

Richardson is a resident of Schuylerville, who has deployed to Antarctica 15 times and served in Afghanistan.

Richardson's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation and Air Force Achievement Medal, the Antarctic Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

New York Air National Guard

With 5,880 Airmen serving in five air wings and an air defense sector, the New York Air National Guard is the largest Air Guard in the Air National Guard of the United States.

The New York Air National Guard operates the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, the LC-130 Hercules ski-equipped tactical airlifter, the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the HC-130J Combat King search and rescue aircraft, and the HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter.

The New York Air Guard's Eastern Air Defense Sector is responsible for the air defense east of the Mississippi as a component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

New York Air National Guard Airmen deploy around the world in support of United States interests and also responds to state emergencies here in New York at the direction of the governor.