VAW 121



United States Navy

Commanding Officer

VAW 121

       Commander Ryan Bryla is a native of Ft Knox, KY. He earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 and was designated a Naval Aviator in May 1999.

       His first assignment was with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO FIVE (VAW-125), the “Tigertails,” located in Norfolk, VA. As a “Tigertail” he twice deployed aboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. During his tour, he served as the Pilot NATOPS Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, Head Landing Signals Officer, Aircraft Division Officer and Schedules Officer.

       In 2003, Commander Bryla was selected for the United States Naval Test Pilot School Cooperative Program. He spent 15 months studying aeronautical engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology prior to proceeding to the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) in Patuxent River, MD. Upon graduation from USNTPS, with a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, he reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX-20) as an E-2/C-2 Project Officer.

       In 2007, he reported to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO THREE (VAW-123), the “Screwtops,” for his department head tour in Norfolk, VA. He served as the Safety Officer, Training Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Maintenance Officer and deployed aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. After departing VAW-123 in January 2010, CDR Bryla reported to Headquarters US European Command, serving in the operations directorate (J-3) as the Focal Point Control Officer and Lead Time Sensitive Planner.

      Commander Bryla has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours in multiple aircraft and nearly 150 carrier-arrested landings. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (Bronze Numeral Two), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy, Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various personal, service, and campaign decorations.