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 27 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 its 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 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 has been a member of CAP for 38 years and been involved in Emergency Services since moving to the Marietta area in 1987. 
He is a member of the Marietta Air Museum Cadet Squadron, GA-454. 
Throughout his service he has served as a Squadron Commander, Group Commander, and Chief of Staff; Encampment staff twice; and on the staff of the 
International Air Cadet Exchange program in Washington DC since 1994, including escort duties to Sweden in 1999.  

He has 28 years of experience as an Incident Commander and holds both ground team and aircrew qualifications. 
He frequently serves 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 Dahlonega, GA on the same training grounds used by the US Army Rangers for their mountain phase training.  

During the 2015-16 WESS cycle, Lt Col Berg re-qualified as Mission Scanner and qualified for Airborne Photographer and joined the WESS staff thereafter.
In 2017, he joined Lt Col Harvey Yarborough and other WESS trained personnel in Puerto Rico in CAP’s Disaster Relief effort following Hurricane Maria. 
This past hurricane season, Lt Col Berg joined Lt Col Harvey Yarborough as CAP’s representatives in the FEMA Region IV Headquarters during the initial days of the Hurricane Florence preparation and response

In 2018, Lt Col Berg was recognized as both the Georgia Wing Senior Member of the Year and the Southeast Region Senior Member of the Year.

Lt Col John Randolph AL-135 Chief of Staff
Lt Col Randolph has 25 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 as 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.

1Lt Peter Randolph AL-135
Basic Lead
1Lt Peter Randolph joined CAP as a cadet in 2006 with the Pell City Composite Squadron. During his time as a cadet, he had the opportunity to attend many activities including the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) and Cadet Officer School. He earned his Eaker Award in 2012.

The first activity Peter attended was WESS in 2006 as a Basic student. He completed the Advanced school in 2007 and began staffing WESS and NESA in 2008. In 2013 he completed GTL school. During his time in emergency services, he has staffed in many positions including both Basic and Advanced schools, Communications, Logistics, and Mission Support. He is currently rated GTM 3,2,1, GTL, CUL, UDF, MSA, MRO, and LSC.

His interest in ES has extended to his adult life. Peter is currently a student at Jacksonville State University pursuing a B.S. in Emergency Management and he volunteers with Dekalb County EMA. An Eagle Scout, he has spent the last four summers working at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. There he manages communication operations covering 312 SqMi and 28,000 participants.

Capt Tracy Miller AL-119 Advanced Lead
Capt Miller joined the Redstone Composite Squadron 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 (AGSAR) 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 on staff at WESS as a BGSAR Team Leader, AGSAR Field Training Advisor (FTA) and AGSAR Lead.  In 2014 she staffed NESA as an AGSAR TL and in 2015, 2017 and 2018 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 currently serves as the Emergency Services Officer in the Redstone Squadron and as an Assistant Emergency Services Training Officer for the Alabama Wing.

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 in the U.S. Army as an Air Defense Artillery officer 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.

Lt Col 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 him an opportunity to fly and serve the community. He has served CAP as Mission Pilot, Mission Staff, Wing Operations and Emergency Services Officer and Incident Commander. He completed his GTM3 rating at WESS. 

Lt Col Yarborough currently serves the Alabama Wing as a Mission Pilot, Incident Commander, and Assistant Director of Operations and was recognized at the CAP Annual Conference as the was the 2017-2018 National Incident Command Staff member of the year.
Capt Grace Carnes NC-001 Medical Officer / WAFA Lead
Major Grace Carnes is a member of MER-NC-001, serving as Assistant Wing Health Services Officer and Assistant Director of Cadet Programs with a focus on improving the Health Services program in Civil Air Patrol. She lives in the Charlotte North Carolina area.

Major Carnes has been a Registered Nurse for twenty-three years, most of it spent in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing. She has also worked as a Camp Nurse for children’s adventure camps. She is currently a Hospice Nurse with Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region.

Major Carnes started coming to WESS in 2013 as an assistant in WAFA and started an ECSI Learning Center in 2014 where she teaches First Aid, CPR, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Pet First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogens. She has led the WAFA program at WESS since 2015 as well as offering it at least once a year in North Carolina.

Maj Bryce Kuykendall AL-119
Mission Management School

Major Bryce Kuykendall entered Civil Air Patrol, as a cadet, in 2008. He progressed through the program and earned the Spaatz Award in January 2014. After transitioning to senior membership he served as the Deputy Commander of Cadets in Fresno, CA. After only 10 months in the position, the squadron improved dramatically and won the National Unit of Distinction. From Fresno he moved to central Virginia and was active in Southside Composite Squadron, helping to modernize the cadet program and became involved in the Wing’s Search and Rescue program, focused on missing person searches. After a short time in Virginia, he moved to northern Alabama where he is now a member of Redstone Composite Squadron.

Maj. Kuykendall earned the Wilson Award in November 2017. He holds Master ratings in Cadet Programs, Aerospace, Professional Development, and Administration. Maj. Kuykendall is also active in Emergency Services, holding an IC3 rating and serves as the ALWG Director of Emergency Services. He recently served as the OSC in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria relief.  

Maj. Kuykendall is a native of Fresno, California. He attended Norwich University, in Vermont, where he received Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) degrees in Chinese, International Relations, and Studies in War and Peace. He now works as a Logistics Management Specialist for the Aviation and Missile Command in Huntsville, AL. His Civil Air Patrol awards include the Meritorious Service Award, Commanders Commendation, Achievement Award, Unit Citation, Disaster Relief with V, and Community Service.