NY ANG Command Chief Visits the 105th Airlift Wing Published Nov. 13, 2020 STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, New York -- NEWBURGH, New York -- Recruiting and retention is the New York Air National Guard’s number one priority, the New York Air Guard’s top enlisted leader told Airmen from the 105th Airlift Wing during a visit to Stewart Air National Guard Base on October 3, 2020. Command Chief Master Sgt. Denny L. Richardson spoke to some enlisted leaders in person and others over computer screens for an hour during his visit. He spoke to members both on the base and deployed to remote locations. “My visit to the 105th was about establishing a connection and introducing the wing to their New York State Senior Enlisted Leader,” Richardson said. “I take pride in being able to motivate and connect with Airmen," he said. Major General Timothy LaBarge, the commander of the Air National Guard, is focused on recruiting and retention, Richardson said. He praised the enlisted leaders of the 105th because the wing has reached 102.4 percent of authorized manning. The general’s second priority is ensuring the New York Air National Guard’s five wings transform so they can stay relevant, Richardson said. "We must continue to make sure the New York Air National Guard stays relevant by finding those diverse mission sets,” he emphasized. The third priority is focused on diversity and inclusion in the New York Air National Guard, Richardson said. “I’m not just talking about a color, I’m not just talking about race, I’m talking about culture,” said Richardson. “Our nation expects this of us, to be a united and dedicated force, and that we will be. Richardson emphasized that what he loves about his position which is development of the force. Airmen are the cornerstone of our operation and must be mentored, developed, and treated with respect and dignity, he told the Airmen. “We are talking about taking care of each and every Airman, utilizing your counsels, utilizing your chiefs, utilizing your first sergeants, but more importantly utilizing your top dog and that’s your New York state Command Chief. We are going to have that transparent communication,” Richardson said. Throughout the enlisted call, Richardson emphasized transparent communication and his philosophy of being extremely accessible to all. The development of Airmen is the key to a successful future. Leaders and Airmen have to learn to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable - that makes you stronger and means that you are learning and pushing through,” Richardson said. “The opportunity to meet with New York Air National Guard State Command Chief Master Sgt. Richardson was easily one of the highlights of my early Air Force career,” said Airman L’Rico Richardson. “The effort he made to speak and take questions from the Airmen at the 105th was greatly appreciated and I personally found it to be a great learning experience,” Richardson said. 105th Airlift Wing Command Chief Joseph Caulfield said he appreciated the lessons Chief Richardson shared. He appreciated Richardson’s emphasis on leaders being transparent, Caulfield said. “Chief Richardson really opened his heart to our Air Wing and in return, it really helped facilitate some needed discussions,” Caulfield added. Richardson said he was “inspired by the professionalism, pride and positive attitudes of every member “ “It further validated that the New York Air National Guard is postured for success now and into the distant future,” Richardson said. The 105th Airlift Wing supports state and national objectives by providing the State of New York and the Department of Defense with the highly skilled people and operationally ready equipment necessary to support civil authorities in domestic operations and meet our airlift and expeditionary combat support commitments.