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    Bryla assumes command of NTWP, McFarland retires

    McFarland earns Legion of Merit

    Photo By Brian Wulfekotte | Capt. A.J. McFarland watches as his wife Clarisa pins him with the Legion of Merit...... read more read more

    POINT MUGU, CA, UNITED STATES

    06.19.2020

    Story by Kimberly Brown 

    Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division

    Capt. Ryan Bryla relieved Capt. A.J. McFarland as the commodore of Naval Test Wing Pacific during a change of command ceremony in Point Mugu, California, on June 19.

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many participants attended virtually, including Rear Adm. Scott Dillon, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander, who presented McFarland with the Legion of Merit award.

    The Legion of Merit is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements, and requires the signature of a three-star flag or general officer.

    The award citation lauds McFarland for, among other things, for “the successful completion of 10 major test and evaluation programs” and for being “the driving force behind F-35 planning, and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye contributions to integration and interoperability testing.” The award period covers only his time as NTWP commodore, but McFarland’s 27-year career was full of notable contributions to the Navy and the nation, Dillon added.

    “It would take me many hours, many days, to try to run through all you’ve accomplished in your career, and I’d never really manage to capture all of it,” Dillon said. “It’s tough to see you go.”

    McFarland spoke about the challenges NTWP has faced in his two years as commodore. Earthquakes, and aging aircraft portfolio, COVID-19. But he also spoke of the successes, with squadron personnel now embedded with the joint 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base and an E-2D on its way to Point Mugu later this year.

    “One of my professors in college, Ed Crawley, once told me ‘If it’s easy, it’s probably not worth doing,’” McFarland said. “We have faced many difficult challenges at the Wing and squadrons during my tenure. Conquering these obstacles was not easy, but it was certainly worth doing.”

    Bryla, who like McFarland graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1996 and was designated a naval aviator in 1999. He trained as an E-2C pilot and has deployed multiple times in support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom as well as to Puerto Rico in support of counter-narcotics operations.

    In his role as commanding officer, Bryla transitioned Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and in a variety of acquisition positions. As deputy program manager for Development and Production, Bryla was ultimately responsible for the cost, schedule, and performance of all aspects of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Program and oversight of E-2D production.

    As for his new role leading NTWP, Bryla is looking forward to “joining the ranks of men and women who will not be deterred by obstacles.”

    “I’m excited and humbled to serve with you,” he said. “You’ve been executing at a high level in austere times, and getting the mission accomplished. The service you provide to the nation cannot be overstated. I look forward to getting to know each of you.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.19.2020
    Date Posted: 06.22.2020 17:16
    Story ID: 372612
    Location: POINT MUGU, CA, US
    Hometown: AURORA, IL, US
    Hometown: LAS VEGAS, NV, US
    Hometown: MIDLOTHIAN, VA, US
    Hometown: SHERWOOD, OR, US

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