- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - The commander of the New York Air National Guard has stepped down after more than four decades of military service.

National Guard officials say Maj. Gen. Verle (verl) Johnston of Schenectady relinquished command on Friday afternoon. He officially retires at the end of the month.

Johnston served as commander of the 5,900-member New York Air National Guard since 2012. During his tenure the organization completed the transition from flying C-5 cargo planes to flying C-17s.

He’s a former commander of the 105th Airlift Wing based in Newburgh.

Taking his place as commander of the New York Air National Guard is Brig. Gen. Anthony German, the state Air Guard’s chief of staff and former commander of the 109th Airlift Wing based in Scotia. A formal change-of-command ceremony will be held later this month.

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