Tornga new skipper of Gauntlets

The Gauntlets of VAQ-136 conducted a Change of Command on Jan. 14.Commander Brent Tornga relieved Commander Scott Hardy in a ceremony onboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.The guest of honor for the event was Captain Jeffery Czerewko, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Two. Captain Darryl Walker, Commodore, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet was the guest speaker.

Tornga takes the helm with ample aviation experience.He has achieved over 500 carrier arrested landings and 2,200 flight hours. Tornga started his career flying the EA-6B Prowler and transitioned to the EA-18G Growler as the Gauntlet’s Executive Officer. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal with numeral 4, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and several campaign and service awards.

Tornga said, “I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to lead the Gauntlets.They are an exceptional group of professional young men and woman.All that I ask is that they operate, maintain, and administer safely and continually seek ways to improve.”

He will be settling into his new duties quickly as the Gauntlets begin work ups in preparations for future operations. The Gauntlets will prepare for six months for participation in the largest international maritime warfare exercise in the world: the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, known as RIMPAC. This exercise will give the Gauntlets the opportunity to hone, employ, and showcase their newly acquired capabilities that the EA-18G offers in support of our national defense.

Hardy and Tornga would like to thank their families for their unyielding support through a successful command tour and through the next as the duties and responsibilities of command are passed on from the incumbent commanding officer to the relief.

Tornga is the son of George and Cheryl Tornga of Conrad.

He also has a brother Blake who is a commander in the navy and stationed at Whidbey Island; a brother Brian, a police officer in Connecticut; and a brother Brock, in Texas who is a praise director at a church.