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Combat Story

Oct 25, 2020

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Wes Bryant is a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant (retired) who served eight combat deployments in the post 9/11 era as a Special Operations Forces Tactical Air Control Party (TAC-P) and Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC).

He co-authored the book “Hunting the Caliphate: America’s War on ISIS and the Dawn of the Strike Cell,” a first-person account of the war on ISIS written alongside the former commanding general of Iraq, Major General (retired) Dana Pittard.

Embedded with Special Forces teams under a Navy SEAL task force, Wes was the tactical lead for a contingent of special operations JTACs to first set foot in Iraq to stop ISIS. He’s been a lifelong writer, amateur philosopher, and avid student of the martial arts. Today, he pursues writing and editing, and teaches Chinese Kung Fu and Tai Chi in his community in North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and their two daughters.

(Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn: @WesJBryant).
2:05 Difference between TAC-P and JTACs.
13:50 Moving between PJ, JTAC, and TACP work finding what was right.
14:25 Pararescue Indoctrination Course.
15:55 Combat Divers Qualification Course.
20:00 Learning about TACPs when at Medina Annex.
22:40 Fought to get back to the CDQC to pass.
28:15 First foray into combat calling in an airstrike in combat.
32:13 First fight in Iraq with 1st CAV in 2004 after Fallujah calling in F-15s with 500 and 2Klbs bombs.
39:40 Being the odd man out from the Air Force dropped into new Army units.
45:20 Description of one of the most formative experiences as a controller in his first control in Afghanistan while getting shot at with 173rd.
58:13 The "most chaos on the battlefield" was early in the fight against ISIS in Iraq in 2014.
1:03:33 Part of the reason for writing the book was to show how deliberate each engagement was.
1:08:38 A tour to Korea in 2007 and finding a way to handle his PTSD. Went kicking and screaming to Camp Casey and was one of the best moves of his career.
1:19:42 Wes describes an experience at a shopping mall in Bahrain that changed his perspective on "the enemy."
1:31:20 Carrying the dog tags of his friend John Brown, a PJ who died in the shootdown of Extortion 17 in August 2011.
1:32:50 Appreciation for Army Special Forces (ODA) teams.
1:33:55 Favorite aircraft: A-10s for fixed wing and Apaches (AH-64s) for helos.
1:34:40 Would you do it all again? "Absolutely...would have done it all again."