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Tullahoma native with local ties taking over Naval Support Activity Mid-South

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 9:10 pm

U.S. Navy Capt. David J. Bryson  (US NAVY Photo)

U.S. Navy Capt. David J. Bryson (US NAVY Photo)

MILLINGTON, Tenn. — U.S. Navy Capt. David J. Bryson, a native of Tullahoma, took command of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South, in Millington, during a change of command ceremony on July 10.

The base near Memphis, scaled for 7,500 military personnel, contractors and civilian workers, ranks among the 10 largest employers in metropolitan Memphis.

Bryson, whose wife Tiffany (Gatto) is a Moore County native, has been chief of staff for J8 Directorate, which provides analysis for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He graduated with a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy, with a concentration in weapons of mass destruction studies, from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington.

Bryson said he and his family were excited when they found out that he would have the opportunity to serve in the Mid-South.

“We are all excited to be home,” he said. “And this is home.”

Bryson said he looked forward to working with the military and civilians at NSA Mid-South.

“It is a tremendous team here,” Bryson added. “The opportunity to command is a privilege and I don’t take it lightly.”

A University of Mississippi graduate, Bryson piloted Navy E-6 Prowler jets, deployed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia as a tactics officer to enforce the 1990s’ no-fly zone over Iraq, and early in the Iraq War was named operations officer on an E-6 squadron assigned to the carrier USS Enterprise.

In 2008, he was named commander of VAQ-141, an electronic attack squadron flying EA-18B Growlers deployed for the Afghanistan war on the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. He has registered more than 650 carrier landings and 3,000 flight hours, the Navy says.

Walker, who became commander of NSA Mid-South in July 2013, will become commanding officer of the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of South Carolina.

Long known as Naval Air Station Memphis, the name was changed in 1998 to Naval Support Activity Mid-South. The base specializes in human resources services, providing “cradle to grave” support through tenant commands including Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Bureau of Personnel, Navy Personnel Command, and Navy Manpower Analysis Center.

The installation also hosts the Army Corps of Engineers, an Army Reserve and a Marine Reserve center along with providing support to the Navy Operational Support Center and Tennessee National Guard and Air National Guard.

The base originated in 1917 as a U.S. Army flying school, became a camp for unemployed workers and a model farm during the Great Depression and was taken over by the Navy in 1942.

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