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Rochester-based NY Army National Guard aviation unit welcomes new commander

New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs

A New York Army National Guard aviation unit, headquartered in Rochester, welcomed a new commander on Saturday.

Lieutenant Colonel Todd Bookless of Greenwich, Connecticut began his role as head of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion on Saturday.

Bookless is a United States Military Academy graduate and veteran of the Iraq war. He joined the battalion in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, where they are conducting their two-week annual training exercises.

Bookless replaces Lt. Col. Michael Charnley of Churchville, near Rochester. Charnley has commanded the battalion since 2014. He'll be attending the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on a full-time basis in the fall.

The 642nd Aviation Support Battalion has elements in Western New York, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.