Chattanooga Based Airmen Return from Iraq
134th Air Refueling Wing
Jan. 12, 2019 | 2:10
Airmen from the 241st Engineering Installation Squadron return home to Tennessee from a seven month deployment in Iraq.

Photo Gallery

Aircrew and Maintainers from the 134th Air Refueling Wing are escorted onto the field during a game time-out at Neyland Stadium Nov. 10. The members had just conducted a flyover from a KC-135R Stratotanker to kick off the game between University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky.
A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANG Base, conducts a flyover at Neyland Stadium Nov. 10 prior to a game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and University of Kentucky Wildcats. The 134th was invited to participate in the annual Veterans Day/Military appreciation game at the local university.
Craig R. McKinley Hall for the Tennessee Air National Guard at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, received a Merit Award in the Facility Design category of the 2018 Air Force Design Awards. (Courtesy Photo)
Staff Sgt. Makayla Cordell, member of the 134th Air Refueling Wing, places a wreath on the headstone of a military veteran as part of a National Wreaths Across America Day event Dec. 15. More than 500 volunteers from East Tennessee placed over 1,900 wreaths on graves as a way to remember and honor those who have served and sacrificed. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Darby Arnold)
Members from the TN and KS National Guard gather in their mock Emergency Operations Center during a table-top cyber exercise in Greeneville, Tennessee Dec. 3. The exercise was the first of its kind for the Tennessee National Guard and for Greenville.
Air National Guardsmen returned home to McGhee Tyson Airport, Tenn. Jan. 12, 2019 from a deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon)
The Tennessee National Guard coordinated with the town of Greenville, Tennessee to facilitate a cyber table-top exercise Dec. 3. The purpose of the exercise was to help identify how Greeneville would defend against a cyber incident and how the Tennessee National Guard could provide support.
Air National Guardsmen returned home to McGhee Tyson Airport, Tenn. Jan. 12, 2019 from a deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon)


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McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base’s very own 572nd Band of the South was on tour recently for the holidays in West Palm Beach, Florida! East Tennesseans doing what they do best! #572ndBandoftheSouth #McGheeTyson #Tennessee #AirNationalGuard #Knoxville #Volunteer
Happy Fourth of July! Today, our country celebrates the independence of our great nation. Here at the 134th Air Refueling Wing, we want to celebrate the Airmen that make our mission a success. In that light we are excited to introduce our new series, Volunteer Airmen. The first video features Technical Sergeant Daniel Gagnon, a photojournalist with the 134th ARW.
134th Air Refueling Wing members from careers across the Wing recently had the opportunity to train with their counterparts at the 100th Air Refueling Wing in Mildenhall, United Kingdom.
At home and abroad, 134th Air Refueling Wing Emergency Managers are on the job! #134ARW #TNANG #AirNationalGuard #TennesseeNationalGuard
134th Air Refueling Wing Chaplain Corps helps Airmen develop professional relationships and connect with their co-workers on a recent trip to Mildenhall, England. #TNANG #TennesseeAirNationalGuard #AirNationalGuard #Mildenhall #134ARW #134thAirRefuelingWing
Check out the latest article on the 134th ARW website! Airman 1st Class David Morgan recently visited Mildenhall, England with the 134th Air Refueling Wing. The trip was his first time out of the country. Tech. Sgt Dan Gagnon, 134th PA, documented the life-changing experience. #TNANG #134ARW #AirNationalGuard #TennesseeNationalGuard RAF Mildenhall
Members of the 134th ARW recently traveled on a two-week trip to Mildenhall, England, to work alongside their counterparts at the 100th ARW in RAF Mildenhall. #134ARW #RAFMildenhall #TNANG #TNAirNationalGuard #AirNationalGuard RAF Mildenhall
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve KC-135R Orientation Flight/C-5 Galaxy Refueling, 08 June, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon)
It's Throwback Thursday! Let's step back in time to almost 15 years ago - July, 2003. Pictured are some of our former 134th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard members while performing duty at an event at McGhee Tyson Airport. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by (retired) Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Taylor) From left to right - Master Sgt. Art Douglass (now Lt. Col.), Master Sgt. Bart Welch (now retired Chief Master Sgt.), Staff Sgt. Chris Hope (now Master Sgt.) and Staff Sgt. Erik Clendenen (now Chief Master Sgt). Thank you Airmen for exemplifying the Air Force core values: - Integrity First - Service before self - Excellence in all we do #TBT #134ARW #McGheeTyson #honorguard #volunteer #Tennessee #ANG #AirNationalGuard
You may have seen this exciting announcement mentioned in the news lately...a message from Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff, USAF, and Chief Kaleth Wright, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Here at McGhee Tyson ANG Base in East Tennessee, our focus is vital air refueling and airlift in the skies around the globe, but sights are set on accomplishing much "higher" goals in the U.S. military, literally, with the announcement of a sixth branch of the armed forces - the Space Force! #134ARW #tanker #refueling #space #spaceforce
134th CES engineering assistants train abroad By Staff Sgt. Ben Mellon, 134th ARW Public Affairs CAMP ADAZI, LATVIA (May 8, 2018) - Engineering assistants from the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron came to Latvia to perform their normal duties but also get training not readily available at their home station, May 4-19. The EA troops had been tasked with using their equipment to lay out forms to pour concrete for slabs that buildings will be built upon in a later portion of the project. "We are going to be in charge of laying out forms and making sure the elevations for the different layers of soil, sand and rock are where they need to be," said Master Sgt. Josh McMurtery, engineering assistant non commissioned officer in charge for the 134th CES. EA's are able to use their equipment to set points for the corners and the elevation of slabs so the buildings have a perfectly-squared concrete pad to be built upon. "We come into play when making sure the slabs are at the elevation they need to be and squared," said McMurtery. "If the slabs aren't square then the buildings we are putting on top of them will not fit and this could become a problem easily." During this project they had the opportunity to work with batter boards which has given them the opportunity to train on something they don't normally train on outside of a deployment for training environment. "Here we are going to be putting up batter boards, which is something we don't get to do regularly," said McMurtery. "We only do this when we are working with forming slabs and doing the specific things we are doing here. It's one of the tasks we are required to be trained on and perform, but we only typically get to train on these during Silver Flag, which is primarily a training exercise, so it's cool to be able to come here and train but be working on a real world task." New EA technicians were able to come on the Latvia DFT and gain invaluable training from the more experienced technicians after completing tech school and learning the basics of their career field. "It means a lot to me to have the opportunity to come out and get to work with the more experienced EAs in our shop," said Senior Airman Brooke Gibbons, an EA for the 134th CES. "Obviously they don't have the time to teach you everything that you will need to know for your job in tech school so having this opportunity to come out and learn from experienced EA's in a real world environment, things I didn't get to learn in tech school, has been great." Not only have new EA technicians been given unique training opportunities, but some of the more experienced technicians have been given the opportunity to step in to lead the project and gain experience for the next step in their careers as leaders. "I was made the team lead for this DFT to oversee we get the job done and get some great training for our younger Airmen," said Tech. Sgt. Justin Gooden, an EA supervisor for the 134th CES. "We are trying to get a lot of the tech. sgts. in charge on this project to take some of the roles of the senior NCOs and let some of the younger NCOs like myself get an opportunity to step up into a leadership role. It's been a great experience for myself and some of the other tech's to have the chance to lead." The engineering assistants are just one vital piece of the CE mission that continues to allow the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron to uphold their long-standing reputation of success across the Air National Guard.
Promotions abroad a unique opportunity By Staff Sgt. Ben Mellon, 134th ARW Public Affairs CAMP ADAZI, LATVIA (May 8, 2018) - Three Airmen from the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron were promoted to staff sergeant here, May 7. Any time a promotion comes in an Airman's career, it is typically a good time, however, sometimes a promotion comes at the perfect time and creates an unforgettable experience. "Three of our Airmen's promotions became effective the firsth of the month, and being traditional guard personnel we weren't at the base for a promotion at that time," said First Sgt. Gary Ornduff, 134th CES. The 134th CES Airmen left for their annual Deployed for Training in Latvia before coming back to drill, so instead of waiting until the following drill, the command staff decided to do something special for these three Airmen. "We thought about promoting them before we left the base but in the hurry-up, fast-paced situation we found ourselves in, the command staff decided it would be a cool experience to do the promotion on board the aircraft over the ocean or something," said Ornduff. "The plane was too cramped and noisy for a proper promotion ceremony, so we decided to wait and have the ceremony there in a foreign country and I'm glad we did." Typically when an Airman is promoted, it will happen at their home station, is a very standard ceremony and rarely differs for any Airman. In this case the promotions came at a time that lent an unusual and unforgettable promotion experience for these three Airmen. "That was a memorable occasion that I believe is something that will stick with them that they were promoted to an NCO level in a foreign country," said Ornduff. "I know it's going to stick with me, being my last DFT with the unit. This is one of the fondest memories that i will carry with me into retirement. It will stick in my heart that I was able to promote three new NCO's in a foreign land." Three Airmen, Staff Sgt. William Bush, Staff Sgt. Dennis Turbyfill, and Staff Sgt. Robert Stiles, were grateful to have this unique opportunity to be promoted in a country that they may or may not ever travel to again. These Airmen will always be able to look back and say that they were promoted to the rank of Staff Sgt. in the European country of Latvia. "Monday morning when we got to the job site here in Latvia I was called up for promotion, which was really cool because it is so rare to be promoted in another country," said Staff Sgt. William Bush. "This will be a special memory that I'm always going to remember. It doesn't happen this way very often and I'm grateful for the experience."
134th ARW Services Airmen support DFT in Latvia By Staff Sgt. Ben Mellon, 134th ARW Public Affairs CAMP ADAZI, LATVIA (May 8, 2018) - Airmen from the 134th Force Support Squadron traveled to Latvia to support the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron on their annual deployment for training here, May 4-19. Each year the CES travels to different locations for their DFT. Typically they bring two members of Services to assist with the planning of food and morale activities for the Airmen on their trip. "So this year the 134th CES brought us on this trip to possibly help out with meals, plan Morale, Wellness and Recreation activites for Airmen during downtime, and plan the end of DFT party for our guys," said Master Sgt. Deonna Woodlief, a services technician with the 134th FSS. "When we got here we found the base had a very large full-functioning dining facility which provided all the meals. We spent some time working with CES on their job site learning a lot about what they do, but as soon as we got the opportunity we decided to go see if we could help out in the DFAC and maybe even get some training while we were there". After realizing they would not need to provide meals to the 134th CES on the trip, they quickly realized this was going to be a great training opportunity for them to work in the chow hall here on site with the Canadian military members who run the facility. "This was an incredible training opportunity for us," said Woodlief. "We not only got to work with Canadians but also the Latvian and Polish troops as well. It was great to see how we actually do most things the same. Some of the forms are formatted slightly different but it's amazing that although we are from completely different countries, we do basically the same job and we do it mostly the same way." The Camp Adazi DFAC feeds a large number of troops from many different countries, which means it takes a pretty large amount of food to keep everyone fed. To process this much food it takes some unique equipment able to handle large portions which the 134th FSS troops don't get a chance to work with often. "The kitchen in the DFAC is enormous," said Woodlief. "Everything in there was just huge. I had a great opportunity to train on equipment that I have never seen and the Canadians and Latvians took us right in and were happy to help us out and give us the training we needed." Any time Airmen can work and train as joint force with allied nations it is an opportunity to strengthen both parties. "It's very important for us to train with other nations like the Canadians," said Staff Sgt. Brent Leach, services technician with the 134th Force Support Squadron. "We need to work with them. We need to see how they do it differently and even the same because you could find yourself in a deployed location and be the only American services troop there. We need to be able to jump right in and work along-side them."
134th Civil Engineers conduct training in Latvia By Staff Sgt. Ben Mellon, 134th ARW Public Affairs CAMP ADAZI, LATVIA (May 8, 2018) - Airmen from the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron traveled to Latvia for their annual deployment for training here, May 4-19. Each year the 134th CES participates in an annual DFT to help keep skills sharp and to train new Airmen joining the ranks. "Every civil engineer squadron has to take all of their crafts or as many as possible from plumbing to electrical, and from engineering assistants to the officer corps on a deployment for training to actually enact their AFSC," said Senior Master Sgt. Kim Bowers, 134th CES Superintendent. "We do all the academics, prelims and safeties at home station and then on a yearly basis we take a DFT to execute that training." This year the 134th CES traveled to Camp Adazi, Latvia to assist with a multi-rotation construction project. "This trip to Latvia is part of our two week DFT," said Lt. Col. Brian Austin, 134th CES Commander. "It's a time to get away from the normal drill weekend and do a lot of AFSC training and also outside of our AFSC training with other members in civil engineering." Due to some unforeseen issues the project that the group was scheduled to work on was pushed back on the timeline, which changed the scope of work when they arrived. "Just like any construction project, not everything is going to go as planned and that's why we have learned to adapt and overcome," said Austin. "Part of that was some of the initial drawings and permits weren't signed off, which put the first rotation behind. We thought we would be putting up walls right now, but instead we are doing the foundation work for the buildings, but that's just how CE operates. We hit the ground running and make the best of every situation." The DFT environment lends a unique opportunity for not only training on AFSC duties, but an opportunity to grow as a team and as a unit. Airmen had the opportunity to spend some time together sight-seeing and experiencing a different culture together. "The DFT environment allows Airmen to work with other Airmen they may not get to work with and that builds relationships," said Austin. "That's one of the biggest things about a DFT. It builds relationships. So, five, 10, even 20 years down the road folks can look back and recall fond memories." These types of projects are more than just an opportunity to visit and train in foreign countries. Through the State Partnership Program, initiated (over 20 years ago) by Department of Defense to successfully build relationships between the United States and our allies, projects like these are a mutual benefit to both countries involved. "I hope this will affect our relationship in a positive way," said Austin. "I know that NGB has had DFT's here before. Latvia is Michigan's state partner. I think it will open the door for more United States involvement here, not only in construction, but in some other NATO exercises as a way to show support for this Baltic region." During the DFT 134th CES Airmen worked alongside active duty Airmen, which allowed them the opportunity to showcase their abilities to their active duty counterparts. "Total force, the Air National Guard and especially the Tennessee Air National Guard are right there in line with our active duty counterparts," said Austin. "We are able to do the job. We have to maintain the same level of training they do on limited days and this DFT allows us to not only get additional training, but also to showcase our skills alongside active duty".
June 14th is Flag Day! Today’s Throwback Thursday photo is from the 2016 Smoky Mountain Air Show. One of the U.S. Navy’s parachute team known as the “Leap Frogs” guides old glory through the air with the Great Smoky Mountains visible in the background. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby) #TBT #134thARW #Tennessee #SmokyMtnAirShow #McGheeTyson #ANG #FlagDay #USNavyLeapFrog
"Morning refuel" - A C-5 Galaxy from the 436th Airlift Wing, Dover, Delaware, is refueled by a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tennessee. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon) #134thARW #151stARS #436thAW #Tennessee #ANG #Refuel #Knoxville #C5Galaxy #KC135
Members of the 134th Civil Engineer Squadron recently conducted their annual deployed for training (DFT) at Camp Adazi, Latvia.
Military employers get the flight of a lifetime! Knoxville and Maryville National Guard and Reserve employers stand beside a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 134th Air Refueling Wing after an orientation flight June 8, 2018 at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard base Tenn. The flight, organized by the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and the 134th ARW, is to foster good relations between employers and the National Guard and reserve. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon) #ESGR #AirNationalGuard #TNNG TNANG
Four members of the 134th Air Refueling Wing recently participated in the 2018 Tennessee Army & Air National Guard Adjutant General's Marksmanship Match (TAG Match). The four-person team (pictured from left to right, Senior Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby, Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Gulley and Tech. Sgt. Scott Cavin) placed 3rd overall in the Team Pistol (M9) Competition. The TAG marksmanship match is an annual training event held at the Army National Guard/Arnold Air Force Base firing range in Tullahoma, Tennessee and is open to any AFSC/MOS. Top shooters at the state level have the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions. (photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Demetrius Ritt)
Today's Throwback Thursday post is a photo from June, 2009 of the Airmen of the 134th Air Refueling Wing Operations Group/151st Air Refueling Squadron. The 151st ARS are easily identified by their flight suits and better known as the "fliers". The photo tells the story of the Airmen reporting in formation during the presentation of one of the many Outstanding Unit Awards the unit has become known for and is extremely proud of. The 134th and 151st live the Air Force Core Values every day - Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do! #134thARW #Knoxville #KC135 #McGheeTyson #151stARW #AirNationalGuard #AirForce #VolunteerState #TBT