February 23, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Selection of Saratoga County Resident as Command Chief of the First Air Force

Governor Hochul Announces Selection of Saratoga County Resident as Command Chief of the First Air Force

Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson to Serve as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commander of 15,000-Member First Air Force, which is Responsible for Aerospace Control and Air Defense of the Continental United States

The First Air Force Also Handles Duties of North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Canadian-U.S. Entity Responsible for Air Defense of North America

Chief Richardson Has Served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commander of the New York Air National Guard Since 2020

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York Air National Guard’s senior enlisted leader, Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson, has been selected to serve as the command chief for the 15,000-member First Air Force. Headquartered in Panama City, Florida, the First Air Force is responsible for aerospace control and air defense of continental United States and handles duties of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is the joint Canadian-U.S. entity responsible for the air defense of North America.

"Chief Richardson's career epitomizes public service and I am proud to call him a fellow New Yorker," Governor Hochul said. "His experience serving as a member of the country's largest Air National Guard and the wise counsel he has provided to its commander have made him uniquely qualified for this job. The First Air Force and the nation will be well served with him in this critical role."

A resident of Schuylerville, Saratoga County, Chief Richardson has served as the senior enlisted advisor to the commander of the 5,880-member New York Air National Guard since 2020. In this role, he advises the Air Guard’s Commander, Major General Denise Donnell, on issues such as enlisted training, readiness, and morale. Chief Richardson will begin his new position in April, reporting to First Air Force Commander Lt. General Steven Nordhaus, and will serve as command chief for three years. The First Air Force Commander named the command chief after interviewing qualified non-commissioned officers from across the country for the post.

The Adjutant General of New York, Major General Ray Shields said, “Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny Richardson is a proactive leader who has made a tremendous impact during his career in the New York Air National Guard. I am confident he will do a great job as the senior enlisted advisor for First Air Force.”

Chief Richardson has served in the Air National Guard for 34 years, in Maryland before moving to New York. New York’s Air National Guard is the nation’s largest, with five flying wings, the Eastern Air Defense Sector, and four geographically separated units. Serving as its command chief has prepared him well for the role with the First Air Force, which is five times the size of New York’s Air National Guard.

Prior to advising General Donnell and her predecessor, Major General Tim LaBarge, he served in the 109th Airlift Wing, which is responsible for supplying research facilities in Antarctica and Greenland. Chief Richardson has been deployed to Antarctica 15 times, and also served a combat tour in Afghanistan. He and his wife have two adult sons.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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