Commander Nelson Keyser

Executive Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86

25 October 2020 Commander Keyser, a native of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English in 2002. He was designated a Naval Aviator in March 2005 and completed initial training in the F/A-18C Hornet at NAS Lemoore, CA in February 2006

In March 2006, Commander Keyser reported to the Valions of VFA-15 at NAS Oceana, VA, where he embarked with Carrier Air Wing EIGHT onboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) and completed a 2008-2009 deployment supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While at VFA-15, he served as the Public Affairs Officer, NATOPS Officer, Avionics / Armament Division Officer, and Air-to-Ground Weapons Training Officer

In April 2009, he moved to Fallon, NV where he was assigned to the Air Wing Training Department (N5) at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC). At NSAWC, he graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Adversary course, and served as a Strike-Fighter Instructor. Additional duties at NSAWC included serving as the N5 Maritime Interdiction SME, Air Wing Coordinator, Adversary Standardization Officer, and Assistant Program Manager / NATOPS Officer for the Navy's F-16 program.

In February 2012, Commander Keyser reported to Carrier Air Wing TWO embarked onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) while deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While assigned to the Carrier Air Wing TWO staff, he served as Strike Operations Officer and Assistant Operations Officer.

In November 2013, he reported as a Department Head with the "Sidewinders" of VFA-86 in Lemoore, CA. As a "Winder", Commander Keyser served as Administrative Officer, Safety Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer, and embarked with Carrier Air Wing TWO onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) participating in the 2014 RIM OF THE PACIFIC Exercise.

Departing the Winders in January 2016, Commander Keyser reported to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI, graduating with highest distinction in February 2017 and earning a Master's Degree in Defense and Strategic Studies. He then reported to the Joint Staff J-6 at the Pentagon in April 2017, serving in the C3 Systems Division as an action officer and Air-Surface branch chief. He will report as the Executive Officer of the "Sidewinders" VFA-86 in February 2020.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other unit and campaign awards. He has over 2,100 flight hours, mainly in the F/A-18 A-F and the F-16 A/B.
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