A New York Air National Guard officer who spent nine years preparing to coordinate space shuttle rescue missions has taken command of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Medical Group of the 107th Airlift Wing.
Lt. Col. Emily Desrosier, a resident of Westhampton Beach on Long Island, assumed command of the group on Sept. 14 from Col. Michael Torres, a resident of Milton, Fla.
Desrosier, who joined the New York Air National Guard as a health services officer in 1994, was previously assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing, based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach.
She served as the wing medical administrative officer from 2008-13 and prior to that served as the wing executive officer from 2006-08. This job involved community and legislative outreach, working with the media, and coordinating rescue efforts and acting as deputy commander.
Desrosier spent nine years as the 106th Rescue Wing's airfield support coordination officer supporting the space shuttle mission. During each shuttle launch she was on a phone bridge and in communication with Northern Command, supporting the NASA Space Center. She was part of a trained team tasked with coordinating rescue and recovery efforts in case of a real-world emergency.
The 106th Rescue Wing provided rescue capability for more than 100 space shuttle launches.
Desrosier also served as a logistics officer, coordinating the deployment of 106th Rescue Wing aircraft, supplies and personnel around the world. She also deployed to Incirlik, Turkey, in support of Operation Northern Watch, enforcing the Iraqi "no fly zone" prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Prior to joining the New York Air National Guard, Desrosier worked as director of resident services in Arizona and North Carolina in long-term health care and rehabilitation.
She holds a Master of Science in administration-health services from Central Michigan University and a Bachelors of Science from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
She is a 2012 graduate of the Air War College and a 2008 graduate of the Air Command and Staff College. She also completed Air Force schools in logistics plans and programs, contingency wartime planning, and squadron officer school.
Her military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
In her remarks, Desrosier praised the men and women of her new unit.
"I'm honored to be here and ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work," she said. "Our nation is still at war, and it's my sincere promise I will give my all and lead the exceptional team of men and women of this medical group."
In his remarks, Torres, the outgoing commander, said the job had been "the culmination of my career."
The mission of the 107th Medical Group is to provide medical support for the state of New York, Homeland Defense, and air expeditionary forces. The 107th Airlift Wing flies C-130 cargo aircraft in partnership with the 914th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve.