Lt Col Michael Long  NHQ-007  Activity Director
Lt Col Long has been involved in ground teams and emergency services training his entire Civil Air Patrol career.  He spent 5 years in the cadet program, earning his Earhart award in 1991 at the Maxwell Composite Squadron (AL-032)  He rejoined Civil Air Patrol in 1996 after college, and has been heavily involved in the program since.

Over his combined 26 years, he has been involved in the creation or buildup of some of the most dynamic emergency services training programs in the country. Initially serving as AL-032's Deputy Commander for Cadets, he served in several capacities over the next 10 years in the local squadron. In 1998, he joined John Desmarais to create the WESS program, serving as the program's first Operations Officer. In 2001, he took over as the Activity Director; in 2008 he oversaw a program expansion that continues today through a partnership with the USAF Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base. In the last few years, WESS has added an Aircrew, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, and Mission Management training, and is now the largest wing based emergency services training program in the country. In many ways, WESS now mirrors the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA).

Lt Col has served on the NESA staff for 16 years; three of them as a Field Training Advisor for the Advanced School, and the rest as the Ground Search and Rescue School Commandant. He is currently qualified as IC3,GTM 1,2,3, UDF, GTL, GBD, PSC, OSC, MSO, MRO, MO, FLM, and CUL.  He is frequently consulted on matters of program/activity development and management nationwide and in 2013 became the NESA Deputy Director as an additional duty.

Because WESS is such a large activity, Lt Col Long serves as the Incident Commander during operational periods and provides continuity between programs and academic years. The move to scenario based training was due in large part to his desire to accelerate the experience curve for  members who will not have to wait many years over many actual missions to develop the insights that Lt Col Long has gained over his career in CAP. Although he went to school at Georgia Tech and Auburn, he was born and raised in Nebraska, and is a lifelong Cornhusker fan.
Lt Col Tom Berg GA-454 Deputy Director
Lt Col Tom Berg is the Commander of the Marietta Air Museum Cadet Squadron in Georgia Wing, GA454.  He has been a member of CAP for 36 years, being involved in Emergency Services since moving to the Marietta area in 1987.  He has 25 years of experience as an Incident Commander, with both ground team and aircrew qualifications.

During his years in Georgia Wing, Lt Col Berg has served as Squadron Commander, Group Commander, Chief Incident Commander, Director of Administration and Chief of Staff.  He has served on Encampment staff twice and has served on staff of the International Air Cadet Exchange program in Washington DC since 1994.  At the National level, he has served on the National Promotions and Awards Team for 10 years including as the Team Leader for 6 years under three National Commanders.

Lt Col Berg has also served on staff, normally as the Incident Commander, of FROSTBITE, Georgia Wing’s premier task-based cold weather, mountainous terrain Search and Rescue training exercise held each year in Suches, GA on the same training grounds used by the Army Rangers for their mountain phase training.  Since this is held in February each year, it usually lives up to its name quite appropriately.

During the 2015-16 WESS cycle, Lt Col Berg re-qualified as Mission Scanner and qualified for Aerial Photographer and is now looking forward to joining the WESS staff for the 2016-17 cycle.

Lt Col John Randolph AL-135 Chief of Staff
Lt Col Randolph has 24 years experience with CAP. Joining in 1967 as a Cadet in Michigan Wing, he earned his Earhart in 1971. He also earned the Communicators Badge while a Cadet, operating his own HF fixed and mobile station and qualified as a ground team radio operator. After becoming a Senior Member,  active for 5 years in Michigan and 4 years in Georgia Wing, he has served as Squadron Admn Off, Comm Off, Ops Off, Deputy for Cadets, Deputy for Seniors and Squadron Commander.

After retiring from the Navy he moved to Alabama in 1998, joining the Pell City Squadron in 2005. He and his family currently reside in northeast Alabama near Boaz where he is the Commanding Officer of Mountain Lakes Flight, Guntersville, Alabama. His qualifications include LSC, OSC, PSC, GTL, UDF, GBD, MS, MRO and CUL.

His involvement in the WESS (FTX) Program began in the 2005-6 as a student in the Basic school. Completing the Team Leader school in 2006-7, he helped staff the activity in the 2007-8 and 2008-9 cycles as a Field Training Advisor and Advanced Lead. He has served on Staff at NESA since 2009. As WESS Chief of Staff he operates the Command Post and directs the activity infrastructure by arranging facilities, classrooms, coordinating staff and technical support.

Originally from the Detroit Michigan area, Lt Col. Randolph has lived in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Kentucky and Alabama.

Maj Gary Ernest AL-117 Director of Advanced Technology
Maj Ernest joined the WESS staff in 2006, after spending two years as a student. He gained his GTM 2/3 rating during the 2004-2005 cycle, and his GTM1 and GTL ratings during the 2005-2006 event.  Maj. Ernest has also served on staff at NESA since 2007 as a Field Training Advisor in the Basic, Advanced, and Team Leader schools. He joined CAP in 2004, and has served as squadron command and Alabama wing staff.

Originally from Nebraska, Maj. Ernest grew up in southern California and moved to Alabama in 1990. He has worked with computers for years and runs his own computer consulting company.

Capt David Collins FL-425 Basic Lead
Captain David Collins was a JROTC Cadet in High School; he joined the US Army as a Radioman in 1987.  Capt Collins left military service in 1997 and became a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida, serving with the Florida State Department of Corrections then with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, FL.  Capt Collins joined CAP in 2012 in Louisiana Wing and transferred to Florida later that year.  Capt Collins in now the Squadron Commander for Pensacola Cadet Squadron.  Capt Collins started his ES career with WESS in 2013 in the Basic School, becoming a TA with Basic School the following year.  Capt Collins helped start  the Florida Emergency Services Academy in Avon Park, FL as the Lead Basic  Instructor and continues in that posting today.  Capt Collins was recently named the Florida Wing Cadet Programs Officer for 2015.

C/Capt Austin Jones AL-117 Basic Training / Senior Cadet
Cadet Captain Austin Jones joined Civil Air Patrol during the summer of 2011. He is a member of the Chilton County Composite Squadron and received his Earhart Award during the summer of 2015. He began his emergency services training when he attended his first WESS cycle in January 2012 and gained his GTM-3 rating. The following year he attended the Wilderness Advanced First Aid course as part of the first graduating class from WESS. In 2013 he attended the National Emergency Services Academy in order to earn his GTM-1 rating prior to starting his WESS and NESA staff career.

Captain Jones has filled the role of Cadet Team Leader at WESS and NESA a total of 7 times as well as Executive Officer for the Advanced Search and Rescue school in July of 2016. He will be the Basic Training/Senior Cadet for the 2016 WESS cycle.

He was the Wing Emergency Services School Honor Cadet Staff member in 2015, honor GSAR staff member for NESA in 2016, attended the Pararescue Orientation Course (PJOC) in 2015 and 2016 and graduated with the Leadership Award.

Captain Jones is an Emergency Medical Technician with Regional Paramedical Services as well as a Patient Care Tech at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Center for Adolescent Psychiatric Medicine.

He plans to pursue a career in Critical Emergency Care and Combat Medicine.

Capt Tracy Miller AL-119 Advanced Lead
Capt Miller joined the Redstone Composite Squadron (AL119) in 2005 and attended her first FTX cycle that year in the Basic Ground Search and Rescue (BGSAR) School.  It was through the FTX cycles that she also completed the Advanced GSAR and Team Leader Schools.  In 2012 she was recertified as a Ground Team Leader at the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) in Indiana.

Capt Miller has served as staff at WESS as a BGSAR Team Leader, AGSAR Field Training Advisor (FTA) and AGSAR Lead.  In 2014 she also staffed NESA as an AGSAR TL and in 2015 as the AGSAR Training Officer.

Lt Col John Hall AL-119 Team Leader Lead
Lt Col Hall joined CAP in 2006. He is a member of the Redstone Composite Squadron in Huntsville where he has served as the Deputy Commander for Cadets and Squadron Commander. He is currently the Emergency Services Officer in the Redstone Squadron.

Lt Col Hall has participated in WESS as either a student or staff member since 2007. At WESS, he completed the Basic Ground Team Member Course, Ground Team Leader Course, and Aircrew Observer Course. He has served as the WESS safety officer and an instructor for the Ground Team Leader Course for multiple training cycles.

Lt Col Hall is an Alabama native and grew up in Athens. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, he served on active duty as an Air Defense Artillery officer in the Army with assignments in Germany, Texas, and California. He deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He is now employed in the aerospace industry in Huntsville.

Maj Harvey Yarborough AL-001 Aircrew Lead
Maj Yarborough grew up on a farm in south Mississippi and likes being outdoors. He joined the Army National Guard in 1972 and was school trained as a Crash Rescue Firefighter and later as a Helicopter Mechanic/Crew Chief. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1976 with a degree in Landscape Construction and Business Management. He served as an administrator at University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University. He was a bi-vocational youth minister for approximately 20 years, and worked on a Master of Divinity Degree in Youth Ministries.

He earned his private pilot license in 2003 and instrument rating in 2005 while working on his real job as a computer database developer and trainer in the legal field. Joining CAP in 2006 provided an opportunity to fly and serve the community. He has served CAP as Mission Pilot, Mission Staff, and Incident Commander. After completing the GTM3 rating at WESS, he returned to serve on staff as an instructor in the Aircrew School, Aircrew Lead, and as Deputy Activity Director.

Maj Yarborough has served as Squadron Commander, and as Deputy Commander for Cadets. He is currently the Alabama Wing Emergency Services Officer and Assistant Director of Operations.
Capt Grace Carnes NC-052 Medical Officer / WAFA Lead
Capt Grace Carnes is a member of the Sugar Valley Composite Squadron in Mocksville North Carolina. She is the Drug Demand Reduction officer and works with Activities and Health Services. She also serves as an advisor to the Composite Squadron of the Waxhaws, in Charlotte North Carolina, in the areas of Health Services and Activities. She is the Group 4 Health Services Officer for North Carolina
Capt Carnes has been a Registered Nurse for twenty years and worked in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing for many of those years. She is currently a Hospice Nurse with Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region. . She started an ECSI Learning Center called Skills for Life in 2014 and teaches Wilderness Advanced First Aid, First Aid, CPR, Pet First Aid, Blood Borne Pathogens as well as several other classes to the public.

She started coming to WESS in 2013 working as an assistant in the Medical Program and Wilderness Advanced First Aid. She offers the ECSI Wilderness Advanced First Aid and First Aid/CPR programs to the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol as well as teaching at WESS as part of her volunteer service.

Maj Talmadge Butler AL-075 Mission Management School
Major Talmadge Butler of Boaz  was "just a farm boy” when he was growing up. He joined the Alabama National Guard at the age of 17. He served in a Signal Construction Platoon for 15 years before switching to the Army Reserve where he served in Military Intelligence and Counter Intelligence.  He Retired as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1992.

Major Butler’s "other career” was in Law Enforcement, Park Management, and Law. He retired from the Alabama State Parks in 2010 after serving 37 years as a Park Ranger, Manager, and District Superintendent.  He is a graduate of Snead State College, the University of Montevallo, and the Birmingham School of Law.

Major Butler joined the Civil Air Patrol’s Gadsden Squadron in September 2002. He became Squadron Commander in 2004 and held that position, except for a short break, until early in 2015.  He has held a number of squadron staff positions in addition to squadron commander.  He still serves in several squadron staff positions including Finance Officer, and Squadron Vice Commander. He has been an instructor at NESA since 2010. He is  the Alabama Wing Assistant Director of Operations for EMA Coordination and the Alabama Wing Chief of Staff..

Although he first joined CAP to be a Air Crew Member, his focus soon turned to Mission Management.  He has served as Incident Commander and on Mission Staff on several large-scale missions and works regularly on training exercises. He is a licensed pilot and an Amateur Radio (HAM) Operator.