McGhee Tyson ANGB hosts air show

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melissa Dearstone
  • 134ARW

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.— The 134th Air Refueling Wing welcomed more than 100,000 community members as it hosted the Smoky Mountain Air Show Sept. 10 and 11.

This was the first air show since 2016 and an opportunity for the 134th ARW to interact with the local community.

Col. Lee Hartley, commander of the 134th Air Refueling Wing said air shows provide an open house for the community to come in and see what it is that we do.

“We really hope to inspire and educate that younger generation that’s going to follow us here and show them what we do,” said Hartley. “There is a lot of other things we do here besides fly, like security, communications, administrative. None of what we do happens without those functions.”

The 134th Airmen, along with members from other Tennessee Guard units, and volunteers all worked together diligently to make sure the show ran smoothly.

“The communication throughout the show was great and we always had people volunteering to make sure that all the jobs got done that were needed,” said Senior Airman Elizabeth Hall, member of the Emergency and Air Show Operations Centers.

Hall said this was a great opportunity for her and she was able to learn a lot about all the logistics and planning it takes to put on an air show.

Even though air shows are primarily set up to give back to the local community, the performers get just as much back in return.

“I’ve spent 22 years in the Navy,” said Capt. Brian Kesselring, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels. “One of the reasons I keep active on the team and keep reaching out is because we are America’s team and we are given this opportunity to inspire.”

Hartley said that the air show and giving back to the community has just been awesome all the way around.

“This is an amazing place to be, live, work, worship, serve and our local community shows that,” said Hartley.

The show included seven aerial acts, over 30 local vendors, numerous static displays, as well as performances from the Air National Guard Band of the South, and other activities for children and families.

Aerial acts included:
-A-10 Demonstration Team
-Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
-Commemorative Air Force
-Greg Koontz Air Shows
-U.S. Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team
-U.S Navy’s Blue Angels Demonstration Team
-Younkin Air Shows

To check out more highlights from the Smoky Mountain Air Show, visit the Air Refueling Wing Facebook site at