134th Air Refueling Wing: Delivering ‘Beans, Beds, & Bullets’
Not only does McGhee Tyson Airport see constant commercial and general aviation traffic, military aviation plays a large role in the overall operations at TYS as well. In this episode, we speak with the Wing Commander of the 134th Air Refueling Wing, Colonel M. Lee Harley, Jr. and learn about their global, state, and local missions. From talking about the 134th Air Refueling Wing’s history and its $246 million annual economic impact, to hearing about how they operate their ‘flying gas station’, this episode introduces you to military aviation and the people and aircraft that make each mission successful.
Guest in this Episode
Colonel M. Lee Hartley, Jr. is the Commander of the 134th Air Refueling Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Colonel Hartley graduated from Doyle High School in 1987 and received a congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Following graduation and commissioning in 1991, he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin Air Force Base, TX and earned his wings in October 1992.
Colonel Hartley has flown aerial refueling missions supporting Operations Northern Watch, Deliberate Forge, Icelandic Air Defense and over 60 combat missions supporting for Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom Sentinel, and Inherent Resolve. Additionally, Colonel Hartley has deployed to locations including: Incirlik AB, Turkey, Istres, France, Rhein Mein AB, Germany, RAF Mildenhall AB, England, Manas AB, Kyrgyzic Republic, Al Udeid AB, Qatar, and Camp Marmal, Afghanistan. From June 2006 – April 2007, Colonel Hartley was an initial cadre Instructor Pilot for the 134th ARW conversion to the KC-135R.
(Credit for bio and photo: 134th ARW)
Mentioned in this Episode
The Mission of the 134th Air Refueling Wing:
Federal: Support Rapid Global Mobility and Sustainment by providing world class personnel, vital Air Refueling and Airlift capabilities for contingency response and sustained combat operations
State: Provide personnel and equipment to protect life and property during emergency response operations as directed by the Governor of Tennessee and the Adjutant General
- ‘Miracle on 134th Street: The Hartley Edition’
- TNANG Orange Hangar:
- KC-135 Aircraft
- 134th Air Refueling Wing (ARW): the ‘host unit’ for the TN Air National Guard Base
- 134th ARW employs 1,000 people, with 1/3 being full-time staff
- Humanitarian Response
- Economic Impact of the 134th: $4.7 million per week or $246 million annually
- Smoky Mountain Air Show
- Santa Cops in partnership with the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
- Pilot for a Day in partnership with the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital