NY Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christopher Panarese, a Saratoga Springs resident, takes "final flight" on Nov. 29
- New York Army National Guard Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chris Panarese poses with his wife Laura and children Samantha and Johnathan at the Army Aviation Support Facility #3 in Latham, N.Y. on Nov. 29, 2018 following Panarese "Final Flight" as an Arm
- A New York Army National Guard Soldier congratulates Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chris Panarese at Army Aviation Support Facility #3 in Latham, N.Y. on Nov. 29, 2018 following Panarese "Final Flight" as an Army Pilot. Panarese celebrated his final flight wit
LATHAM, NY (12/01/2018) New York Army National Guard Warrant Officer 5 Christopher Panarese, an Army pilot and Saratoga Springs resident, took his "Final Flight" after 26 years of service in the military on Thursday, November 29.
Military pilots traditionally take a last ceremonial flight before wrapping up their military flight career.
Upon returning to the New York National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Latham, Panarese was greeted by family and fellow service members, including Brigadier General John Andonie, the New York Army National Guard Chief of Staff.
Panarese is currently the commander of Detachment 5, Company C of the 2nd Battalion 245th Aviation Regiment in Latham, N.Y.
Panarese who enlisted in the Army in 1992, is a veteran of the Iraq War and also deployed to Bosnia- Herzegovina and the Horn of Africa and supported numerous domestic emergencies and natural disasters throughout New York and New England, such as the North American Ice Storm, Tropical Storm Floyd, 9-11, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and forest fires in the Adirondacks.
He began his military career in the Army Reserves, completing his initial training at Ft. Benning, Georgia as a mortar man and then in 1994 he transferred to the New York Army National Guard serving in the 108th Infantry as a saw gunner.
In 1996 he transferred to 3rd Battalion, 142nd Air Assault Helicopter Battalion and was sent to Ft Rucker, Alabama completing Warrant Officer Candidate School and the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course.
He has attended UH-60 Qualification Course, Aviation Safety Officer Course, UH-60 Instructor Pilot Course, Aviation Tactical Operations Officer Course, and Army Fixed Wing Qualification Course.
During his career Panarese has flown the UH-1 Iroquois, UH-60 Black Hawk and C-12 Huron.
His comprehensive duty assignments include service as an Assault Company Aviation Safety Officer, Assault Company Instructor Pilot, Battalion Tactical Operations Officer, Battalion Aviation Safety Officer, Fixed Wing Detachment Commander.
"After 26 years of service, I am grateful for the opportunities that the military has provided, it's been a challenging and rewarding career. I've had the amazing opportunity to fly around the world but also be mentored by many great senior aviators throughout the years," he said.
Panarese has a family history of service to the country. His grandfather served in WWII (surviving the Baton Death march) and his father and uncle both served in the Air Force. His uncle retired from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Air Wing.
"I've worked with Chief Panarese for the past 15 years, it will be sad not flying with him anymore, he is a great friend and pilot. We deployed together in 2004 and have been working together ever since, he is one of the best," said Sgt. Shaun Bradley, New York Army National Guard crew chief.
Panarese holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from SUNY Albany.
His awards, badges, and decorations include; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; NATO Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon; and the Master Army Aviator Badge.
He currently resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Laura and children Samantha and Johnathan.