James E. Keller, Pilot
17th SOS, Tan Son Nhut, 1970-71
Jim Keller graduated from Davis and Elkins College with a degree in chemistry in January 1968. Thereafter he was commissioned in the Air Force and after receiving his wings, served active duty tours in Vietnam and Taiwan. During his tour of duty in Vietnam, First Lieutenant Keller served with the 17th Special Operations Squadron, C Flight at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon from May 1970 to May 1971 as an AC-119 “Shadow” gunship pilot.
In 1975 after leaving the Air Force, he began work for the Navy as a General Engineer at the Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, MD. His work focused on research, design and production engineering projects for Naval gun ammunition and special purpose munitions. He came to the Naval Air Systems Command as the Training System Project Manager for the SH-60B in 1979 and went on to manage simulator engineering programs for a variety of platforms. In 1985 he became a section supervisor in the Aircrew Training Systems Engineering Branch for tactical aircraft. He has managed other platform training systems and technology programs such as software engineering process development and distributed simulation applications. Presently he is the PMA205 Deputy Program Manager for Maritime, CNATRA and Special Missions training programs.
During his career at NAVAIR Jim Keller has served a long- term detail in OPNAV working Modeling and Simulation policy issues. He has had extensive experience in training system acquisition, simulation software engineering processes, Distributed Interactive Simulation and successfully managing procurement/acquisition programs in an Integrated Program Team environment. He is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College Program Managers Course, has completed Air Force Air Command and Staff College and is a member of the DOD Acquisition Professional Community and is designated a Level III Program Manager.
Mr. Keller holds FAA certificates as a Flight Instructor and Airline Transport Pilot. He has participated in the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve flying programs, including serving a year on active duty during Desert Shield/Storm. He has an Air Force Command Pilot rating with over 5000 hours military flying time including 1650 hours of combat time in Special Operations and Airlift.
Through the years he has received numerous civilian performance awards from the Navy including the Civilian Meritorious Service Award. Military decorations include three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 19 Air Medals.
He presently resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife Pam and has two sons in college. Outside interests include various outdoor pursuits and Boy Scout adult leader training activities.