The new commander at the 119th Command and Control Squadron is a familiar face.
Lt. Col. David Evans took over for Lt. Col. Gus Schettler as leader at the squadron during an official change of command ceremony on Jan. 12.
Tennessee National Guard Adjutant Gen. Gus Hargett Jr. was on hand for the event.
Lt. Art Douglas spoke at length about Schettler’s time with the unit. Schettler called the squadron members his heroes, and Evans said the squadron’s success had nothing to do with luck.
Douglas said the ceremony was time for Schettler to reminisce. “For Gus, it’s a time of remembrance. Your enthusiasm has carried over into every airman in your unit. Your leadership has brought this command to new heights,” Douglas said. “Gus, I want to thank you for what you’ve done for this squadron.”
Douglas praised Evans for how he prepared himself to lead. “The years of experience as deputy commander have prepared you well for this day. You can’t do it by yourself. I know you’ll succeed because the airmen here are always professional,” he said. “It’s imperative to take care of your airmen. David, I know you’ll be successful.”
Schettler said he was honored to have served with the 119th and to be promoted to the state headquarters staff, also known as the Joint Force Headquarters Tennessee, as director of staff for the Air Guard. “I’ve been given a lot more than I ever deserved,” he said.
Schettler thanked his family for their support and called the 119th members “heroes.” “They stand behind me. They’ve always supported me,” he said. “I want to say thank you to my heroes - the men and women of the 119th. They believe the results of the unit are a direct reflection of themselves.”
Schettler praised his successor. “David Evans is a big man with a big heart,” he said. “It’s not for fame or fortune you serve in the 119th. It’s simply for honor.”
Evans said he was grateful for the “trust and faith” his superiors showed in him by giving him the command. He then thanked his spouse. “My wife, Kim, has stood beside me for 25 years,” he said.
The 119th deals primarily with satellite communications systems. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the 119th assisted by managing the bandwidth required for all the response units on the ground to communicate.
“Primarily when you put that many response elements in one specific geographic area, requirements for satellite bandwidth is phenomenal. Someone has to make sure people who need it, get it, and people who don’t need it, don’t get it,” Evans said. “That was our main contribution, and we did that here.”