LATHAM, NY - Members of the New York National Guard mourn the loss of retired Maj. Gen. Robert A. Knauff, the former New York Air National Guard Commander who was killed in a glider accident in Aguila, Ariz. May 3.
Knauff commanded the 6,000-member New York Air National Guard and served as deputy commander of the 17,000 men and women of the New York Army and Air National Guard.
He retired from military service in February 2009.
"Our entire military family extends our deepest sympathies on the loss of this great Air Force leader and friend," said Maj. Gen. Patrick A. Murphy, the adjutant general and commander of the New York National Guard. "Bob Knauff stayed active in his support of Soldiers and Airmen even in his retirement years and our National Guard has lost a tremendous leader and supporter."
Knauff was a pilot with 3,900 flying hours in F-106 Delta Daggers, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon and OV-10 observation aircraft. He commanded the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock field from 1996 to 2003, prior to becoming Chief of Staff of the Air National Guard and then Commander.
A 1975 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Gen Knauff completed undergraduate pilot training in 1976. In the years following, he undertook a series of flying and command assignments culminating with his duty at the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs in Latham.
In addition, he served as the Air National Guard assistant to the commander, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. He was a combat veteran with more than 3,900 flying hours.
A resident of Manlius, Onondaga County, Knauff's military assignments included serving as an F-15 instructor pilot at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona; serving as a forward air controller at George Air Force Base in California; flying F-106s with the New Jersey Air National Guard; and serving as the Chief of Staff of the New York Air National Guard.
More recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer at Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) in Rome, N.Y. He was also served as a Chairman of the Board for the Military Association of New York.
Knauff's awards included the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon, and Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, and the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal.