A former Navy pilot is about to become the first woman to command one of the New York Air National Guard's flying wings.
State military officials say Col. Denise Donnell will take charge of the 105th Airlift Wing during a ceremony Sunday at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.
Donnell has nearly 4,000 hours of flying time in different types of aircraft. She started her military career in 1993 in the Navy, piloting anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. After joining the Air Guard in 2002, she learned to fly transport planes in Newburgh.
She lives in the Albany suburb of Clifton Park with her husband and two children.
Donnell, the wing's vice commander, is succeeding Col. Howard Wagner, who is retiring after a 34-year military career.