PEARL HARBOR - Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Keithley was presented the U.S. Navy League's Scroll of Honor, June 2, recognizing his efforts in developing a pair of concepts to use unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles in innovative ways at sea and in port.
Jeff Brown, president of the U.S. Navy League Pacific Region, presented the award during the Commander, Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) Commanders Conference. This was the first time the Navy League has presented the award for innovation.
Through the Bridge, a COMPACFLT program, Keithley promoted the idea to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to increase timeliness, accuracy, and probability of finding a man-overboard from ships and submarines, and a concept for an unmanned underwater vehicle system that provides situational awareness and protection in harbors and ports during the annual Pitch Fest.
The Bridge started at Pacific Fleet as a way for its 140,000 Sailors take ideas from concept to reality by creating solutions to Navy-specific challenges. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift, has championed this initiative that helps to guide Sailors as they take their ideas from concept to reality.
"I cherish when Sailors actively seek out solutions and develop ideas that address challenges facing the fleet and that help us to ultimately be better warfighters," Swift said.
Keithley was selected as COMPACFLTs Innovator of the Year after he won best innovative idea during the 2017 Pacific Operational Science and Technology Conference.
His efforts have been recognized by the Office of Naval Research, who is currently pursuing additional technical solutions to implement on a wider scale.
The Scroll of Honor is the second highest award of the Navy League on the national level, and the highest award at the region, area, and council levels. It is awarded to government employees, uniformed or civilian, who have contributed in an outstanding manner to Navy League programs.