Col. Denise M. Donnell is the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, NY. Col. Donnell is responsible for the combat readiness of assigned units by reviewing training programs and ensuring availability of necessary equipment, supplies and facilities. She oversees a wing of over 1330 personnel with an annual payroll of $78 million, a total local area economic impact of over $150 million and has coordinating responsibilities for a USMC tenant unit of 660 USMC personnel with 14 KC-130T assigned aircraft.

Born at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Colonel Donnell graduated from Georgetown University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Foreign Service and was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program. After nine years as a naval aviator, Colonel Donnell joined the Air National Guard at Stewart ANGB in Newburgh, N.Y. She was selected to become the 105th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander in October 2005 and earned her maintenance badge while continuing to fly as a C-5 aircraft commander.

In May 2010, she assumed command of the 105th Maintenance Squadron. She led the unit through a conversion from C-5 to C-17 aircraft and simultaneously qualified as a C-17 pilot. After transferring to the 109th Airlift Wing, Colonel Donnell once again managed the entire maintenance group while simultaneously qualifying as a C-130 pilot. In 2013 she was selected to command the 109th Maintenance Group at Stratton Air National Guard Base. The wing flies the LC-130 ski-equipped C-130 transport aircraft as well as conventional C-130s. Donnell learned to fly the C-130 while also commanding the maintenance unit. In 2016 she was reassigned to the 105th Airlift Wing as Vice Commander to Wagner.

1993 Bachelor of Science Degree in Foreign Science, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
2003 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2016 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Norfolk, Virginia, by hybrid delivery


1. June 1993 - October 1995, Student, Naval Flight Training, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas
2. October 1995 - June 1996, P-3 upgrade training, Patrol Squadron 30, NAS Jacksonville, Fla.
3. July 1996 - January 2000, P-3 NATOPS evaluator pilot, mission commander, quality assurance officer, Patrol Squadron 46, NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.
4. February 2000 - October 2002, P-3 NATOPS evaluator pilot, operational test director, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, NAS Patuxent River, Md.
5. November 2002 - September 2005, C-5 aircraft commander, pilot scheduler, 137th Airlift Squadron, Stewart ANGB, Newburgh, N.Y.
6. October 2005 - April 2010, Squadron Commander, C-5 aircraft commander, 105th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Stewart ANGB, Newburgh, N.Y.
7. May 2010 - January 2013, Squadron Commander, C-17 pilot, 105th Maintenance Squadron, Stewart ANGB, Newburgh, N.Y.
8. February 2013 - May 2016, Group Commander, 109th Maintenance Group, Stratton ANGB, Scotia, N.Y.
9. May 2016 - August 2017, Vice Commander, 105th Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, N.Y.
10. August 2017— Present, Commander, 105th Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,800
Aircraft flown: T-34, T-44, P-3C, C-5, C-17, C-130, LC-130

Meritorious Service Medal with one devices
Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
AF Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Armed Force Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
AF Longevity Service with oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 'M' device
Navy Pistol Shot Medal
New York State Fitness Ribbon
New York State Humane Service Ribbon


(U.S. Navy) Ensign May 26, 1993
(U.S. Navy) Lieutenant Junior Grade June 1, 1995
Captain June 1, 1997
Major July 10, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 15, 2008
Colonel May 13, 2013




(Current as of March 2018)