Hartley assumes command of 134th Air Refueling Wing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melissa Dearstone
MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. (Aug. 5, 2018) — Knoxville Airmen gathered in formation for a change of command ceremony here Aug. 5 as Col. Martin L. Hartley assumed command as the 134th Air Refueling Wing commander from Col. Thomas Cauthen.

Hartley said leading the Airmen of the 134th is an honor, but a big responsibility as well.

“These men and women are the finest anywhere,” said Hartley. “As the Guard changes, we need to be ready for whatever may happen, so we need to continue to make sure we have the world’s best and finest trained Airmen.”

Hartley becomes the 11th commander to lead the 134th ARW. He is a command pilot with more than 6,800 flying hours and has 27 years of service. Since 1997 he has assumed several pilot and command positions within the Wing. He has flown over 60 combat missions in support of operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Freedom Sentinel, and Inherent Resolve. Hartley received a bachelor of science degree in engineering mechanics from the Air Force Academy and a master of business administration degree from Liberty University, Virginia.

Hartley is not the only Airman assuming a new leadership position within the Tennessee National Guard. Col. Bobby Underwood, who was previously the 134th Operations Group commander, will work alongside Hartley as the Wing’s vice commander.

Cauthen, who has led the unit for the past seven years, will continue his military career as director of staff-air at Tennessee’s Joint Force Headquarters in Nashville. Cauthen said he hopes the Airmen of the Wing will remember him as a servant leader and someone who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a member of this Wing,” said Cauthen. “The work ethic is strong here, and there’s a good sense of family. Our people have a desire and a willingness to do what’s necessary to be the best, and that’s the foundation established by the original members of our Wing.”

Hartley acknowledged the legacy of success Cauthen has passed down and he knows that he, along with the 134th Airmen, will be able to continue the Wing’s legacy.

“Success is a team sport,” said Hartley. “We’ve got the greatest Airmen in the world here. I’m confident they’ll be able to continue our mission and meet any changes that may come our way.”

A Change of Command ceremony occurred at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard base Aug. 5, 2018. Col. Martin Hartley assumed command of the 134th Air Refueling Wing from Col. Thomas Cauthen. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gagnon)