His squadron got the alert: a “real world mission was going down.”

The team – at Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy – raced to the field and was briefed, as planes were armed and prepared to launch. Hundreds of miles away, fellow Americans were under attack in Benghazi.

“There were people everywhere. That flight line was full of people, and we were all ready to go” to Benghazi, he said.

Only they were waiting for the order. It never came.