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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1983-1984, 131X, FASOTRAGRUPAC (Staff), Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group (Staff)
Service Years
1954 - 1984
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Icelandic Domain

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember KEENE, T.J. (Jack), CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Los Angeles, Calif.
Last Address
Murrieta, California,

Date of Passing
Feb 12, 2016
Location of Interment
Miramar National Cemetery - San Diego, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Office of the Secretary of Defense Iceland Defense Force US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge P-3 1,000 HRS Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club

Order of the Golden Dragon Cold War Veteran Admiral Flatley Aviation Safety Award

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Tailhook Association
  2016, Tailhook Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Thomas Jack Keene, USN (Ret.)

Jack Keene joined the Navy in January 1954 and was designated a naval aviator in May, 1955. A veteran at the zenith of the Cold War, he began his naval career as a fighter pilot flying both the F9F8 Cougar and the FJ-4B Fury jet aircraft. Jack accumulated 140 aircraft carrier landings on board the USS Shangri-La (CV-38), USS Oriskany (CV-34), and USS Midway (CV-41) aircraft carriers. He proudly served in the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis and other Southeast Asia operations as a fighter pilot in VF-63, VA-63, and VA-22 Navy squadrons. Transitioning to the land based mission of maritime patrol, Jack then flew the P-2V Neptune in Patrol Squadron TWO (VP-2) and deployed to Kodiak and Adak in Alaska, and Iwakuni Island in Japan. During the later deployment, he participated in the initial establishment of the Market Time air barrier and Yankee Teams operations in support of the Vietnam War in 1965. 

In 1965, Jack was “hand-selected” to serve the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, on his staff in the Pentagon until 1967, and then moved out west to Fleet Air Wing 10 at Moffett Field, California, where he deployed to Sangley Point, the Republic of the Philippines. It was during this period that Jack transitioned to the Navy P-3 Orion combat patrol aircraft equipped to hunt Soviet Union submarines. Competitively selected by the Chief of Naval Operations, Jack was ordered to take operational command of Patrol Squadron TWENTY-TWO (VP-22) in Barbers Point, Hawaii. Reporting as the squadron’s Executive Officer in March 1970, Jack took command in July 1971 and served as the squadron’s ‘skipper’ until June 1972. While in command, VP-22 deployed to Naha, Okinawa and conducted extensive operations throughout Southeast Asia and Vietnam. VP-22 also was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations “Safety Award” for operating for more than 150,000 hours of accident free hours. In accepting the award, Jack remarked, “The CNO Safety Award is an honor but more than that, it is recognition of the hard work and long hours each of you have contributed to make the “Blue Geese” the most effective and safest squadron in the VP Navy.”

In August of 1978, Jack was selected for major aviation command and became the Commander of all Naval Forces, Iceland. Commensurate with this assignment, he was dual-hatted as the Commanding Officer of Naval Station, Keflavik. He served in Iceland until 1980 when he then moved back to the West Coast and was assigned as the Chief of Staff, Patrol Wings Pacific at Moffett Field, California. In January 1983, Jack earned his third and final command tour as the Commanding Officer of Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group, Pacific Fleet (FASOTRAGRUPAC). During this command tour, he was responsible for over 1,000 personnel and multiple detachment sites assigned to deliver essential fleet aviation training in the operation and tactical employment of aviation systems and equipment for Navy and Marine Corps aircrew.

In addition to all his operational tours, Jack was a graduate and student at the US Naval War College (where he also completed a Master of Arts from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island), US Navy Postgraduate School, the Foreign Service Institute in Washington D.C., and the Royal Norwegian Defense College.

Jack retired from the United States Navy in June 1984 after a 30 year remarkable and illustrious career of service to our nation. During his career, Jack earned and was awarded the Legion of Merit (the Navy’s 6th most highest precedence award for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements), the Meritorious Service Medal (given in recognition of Jack’s superlative command tour in VP-22), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (given for his exceptional service on the Secretary of Defense staff), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal among other unit citations and letters of commendation. Jack’s deeply rooted patriotism and sense of selfless service would echo the sentiment within President Kennedy’s famous quote – “And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worth-while, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.’”

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Formal Schools and Training CoursesOffice of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)Naval War College (Staff)Fleet Air Wing 10
NAS Sangley Point, PIVP-22 Blue GooseNaval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)Norwegian Naval Gunnery School
NAVSTA Keflavik, IcelandNAS Keflavik, IcelandNAS Moffett FieldFASOTRAGRUPAC (Staff), Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group (Staff)
  1954-1955, Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) Pre-flight Course
  1955-1955, 131X, Naval Flight Training
  1965-1967, 131X, Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1966-1967, 131X, Naval War College (Staff)
  1967-1968, 131X, Fleet Air Wing 10
  1968-1969, 131X, NAS Sangley Point, PI
  1970-1972, 131X, VP-22 Blue Goose
  1973-1974, 131X, Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
  1974-1975, 131X, Norwegian Naval Gunnery School
  1978-1980, 9420, NAVSTA Keflavik, Iceland
  1978-1980, 131X, NAS Keflavik, Iceland
  1980-1982, 131X, NAS Moffett Field
  1983-1984, 131X, FASOTRAGRUPAC (Staff), Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group (Staff)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1958-1958 Second Taiwan Strait Crisis (Formosa Crisis)
  1965-1966 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1965-1966 Operation Market Time
 Colleges Attended 
Glendale Community CollegeCalifornia State University, Los AngelesNaval War CollegeNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  1950-1952, Glendale Community College
  1952-1954, California State University, Los Angeles
  1967-1968, Naval War College
  1967-1968, Salve Regina University
  1973-1974, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  General Photos11
  Feb 12, 2016, Life Story for Thomas Keene3
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