Brig. Gen. David C. Wesley, Air Mobility Command staff judge advocate, takes questions after his presentation to the Scott Composite Squadron as (from left) Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Andrew Hall, Cadet Staff Sgt. Jesse Baxter and Cadet 1st Lt. John Gulick listen.
Chief Master Sgt. Robert Dandridge, squadron leadership officer and master of ceremonies for the 9/11 observation, pays tribute to all who have served the nation.
Cadet Airman 1st Class Clayton Sanker leads the Scott squadron’s color guard in posting the colors during the observation.
Dandridge thanks Wesley for speaking to the squadron.
Photos by Capt. Greg Hoffeditz, Illinois Wing
Capt. Greg Hoffeditz
Public Affairs Officer
Scott Composite Squadron
ILLINOIS – “You face a new test every day of your life,” Brig. Gen. David C. Wesley, the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command staff judge advocate, told Scott Composite Squadron members Sept. 11 as he described his personal experiences on the world-changing day 11 years earlier.
Wesley accepted the squadron cadet staff’s invitation to be guest speaker for the unit’s observation of the anniversary of 9/11. Nearly 60 cadets and officers and their families gathered at the squadron’s weekly meeting to hear what he encountered as the chief of international and operations law at Air Combat Command headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va., as planes began crashing into iconic buildings in New York and Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania.
During the confusion and high emotions that ensued, Wesley was one of the first people to access the command’s Crisis Action Team operation center. He immediately began his duties, answering questions about the legal aspects of fighter aircraft response to the situation.
“We can never rest on our laurels, because tomorrow is another test,” Wesley told his audience.
“Every time I put on the uniform, I take that test again. Every time the phone rings in the middle of the night. Every time a parent asks a question.
“Some tests won't go so well,” he said, “but the key is to try to get a little better each day. Over time, that makes for a big improvement.”
Wesley then tied his comments directly to Civil Air Patrol and the cadets listening to him.
“Due to the events unfolding, all civil air traffic had ceased over the United States,” he recalled. “Nothing was allowed in the sky, no one could fly, except military aircraft … and the Civil Air Patrol!
“CAP flew reconnaissance missions over the disaster sites and to deliver much-needed medical supplies to the affected areas, at a time when no other agency or individual could. CAP successfully accomplished these missions because they were prepared for the test!
“Are you prepared for the next one?” he asked.
"Train hard! Your toughest test is tomorrow".