105th Airlift Wing Staff Sgt. Joshua Kuritzky is NY Air Guard Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year

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  • 105th Airlift Wing

Newburgh, New York — Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua Kuritzky, a Walden resident assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, has been named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the 5,900-member New York Air National Guard.

He was selected by a board which evaluated candidates from the New York Air National Guard's five flying wings and its Eastern Air Defense Sector.

The award recognizes Airmen who exhibit outstanding leadership abilities, job performance, and personal achievement.

Kuritzky, a full-time member of the New York Air National Guard's 105th Base Defense Squadron, serves as a Phoenix Raven, a security forces Airmen specially trained to provide security for fixed and rotary aircraft in austere and remote environments.

He served as the Phoenix Raven team leader in August 2021, when the 105th Airlift Wing assisted in efforts to evacuate Afghans who supported the U.S. military mission from Kabul when the country fell to the Taliban.

The 105th Airlift Wing deployed three aircrews and three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and evacuated 2,084 people.

"The wing is thrilled to have an Airman such as Staff Sgt. Kuritzky represent New York State as the Outstanding Airman of the Year," said Brigadier Gen. Denise Donnell, the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing.

"Staff Sgt. Kuritzky embodies the core values and his dedication to continued improvement is a representation of what our wing, state, and nation have been doing throughout the year. He directly contributed to the wing's recent recognition in receiving the Meritorious Unit Award," she added.

The 105th Airlift Wing was recent awarded a Meritorious Unit Award for its accomplishments in 2020.

Kuritzky, who joined the Air National Guard in 2013, is a security forces trainer and is also enrolled in a master's degree program in cyber security.

"I am extremely grateful to serve in a capacity with the opportunity to train, develop, and respond to emerging events, "Kuritzky said.

During his career, Kuritzky has deployed to Jordan in 2016 and 2017.

He also took part in the 2019 South African Military Skills Competition as part of a New York Air National Guard Team. The New York National Guard has a training partnership program with the South African National Defence Force.

In January of 2021, he was part of a 105th Airlift Wing contingent which deployed to Washington, D.C. to secure the city following the events of January 6 at the United States Capitol.

His military awards include the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal.

Kuritzky will now compete against Airmen selected as Outstanding Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year from the other 53 Air National Guards to be named the best in the 101,000- member Air National Guard of the United States.

"We are proud to stand behind him as he competes at the regional, and national level, Donnell said.

The 105th Airlift Wing flies the C-17 Globemaster III from Stewart Air National Guard Base on missions around the world. Wing members also deploy overseas as required and serve at home in support of New York State.