Retired July 1, 1991.
Brigadier General Edward N. Brya is director of operations, J-3, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Brya was born in Los Angeles in 1938. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Loyola Marymount University in 1960 and a master's degree in public administration from Golden Gate University in 1975. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1964, Air Command and Staff College in 1973, and Air War College in 1979.
A distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1960 and entered active duty in April 1961. After completing pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in May 1962, he was assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, as a C-130 Hercules pilot. In January 1965 he transferred to the 35th Troop Carrier Squadron, Naha Air Base, Okinawa. While there he spent two years flying as an instructor pilot on missions to Southeast Asia, including leaflet drops in North Vietnam. He transitioned to B-52s with an assignment to Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1967. During 1969 and 1970 he rotated with his crew to Guam and the Arc Light mission in Southeast Asia.
General Brya returned to tactical airlift and C-130s in May 1970. He was assigned to Pope Air Force Base, N.C., where he served as an instructor, flight commander and wing plans officer. In January 1972 he transferred to Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, as the wing standardization pilot. During the 1972 North Vietnamese spring offensive, he designed and tested both the low- and high-level airdrop tactics that relieved the siege of An Loc. His tour highlight came during the mission to Hanoi that returned the first group of prisoners of war.
From April 1973 to August 1975 General Brya was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as an operations staff officer in the Directorate of Airlift. During this tour of duty he was a key participant in the transfer of tactical airlift to the Military Airlift Command. He then transferred to MAC headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where he was assigned to the Tactical Airlift and Exercise Management divisions. From 1977 to 1982 General Brya was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as tactical airlift program officer in the Mobility Forces Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs.
He returned to flying in May 1982 as deputy commander for operations, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Dyess. In April 1984 he became vice commander of the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing at Pope. From July 1985 to March 1987 General Brya served as commander of the 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He then returned to Pope as commander, 317th Tactical Airlift Wing. In May 1988 he was assigned as deputy commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. He assumed his present position in August 1989.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours and holds the Basic Parachutist Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Service Medal with eight service stars, and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1988, with same date of rank.