USNS HENSON  
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Operating in the atmosphere, oceans, and the interface between the two, the U.S. Navy has a unique requirement to integrate meteorological and oceanographic support globally. Under the Chief of Naval Operations, the Oceanographer of the Navy's lower echelon commands provide meteorological support for Navy units, meteorological products to the U.S. Marine Corps, and oceanographic and precise time support to all elements of DOD. Basic oceanographic and meteorological research and development, funded by the Chief of Naval Research (CNR), is conducted by in-house laboratories or universities and organizations under Navy contract. Applied research - development of new sensors and tactical support systems - is funded both by CNR and the Oceanographer of the Navy and is conducted by Navy laboratories and Navy Systems Commands and their contractors.

Operational support to ships, aircraft, and shore stations is provided by activites of the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC). Direct support to staffs, ships, and commands afloat and ashore is provided by officer and enlisted meteorology and oceanography (METOC) personnel assigned to fleet units. Shore activities of the naval oceanography community include the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, the National Ice Center, four theater centers (Atlantic, European, Pacific, and Western Pacific), four Facilities, and 39 Detachments.

Navy oceanographers can deploy anywhere - in any ocean, at any time - to collect data and generate products to meet operational needs. Under a long range plan developed in 1986, Navy is continuing the modernization of its oceanographic fleet. When tion of Oceanography. ATLANTIS, delivered in 1997, is operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is capable of supporting the deep submergence vehicle ALVIN. Congress has approprated funds to acquire a small water-plane area twin-hull (SWATH) research ship to replace the aging R/V MOANA WAVE, and a cooperative (Navy, Industry, Ship Operators) procurement program recently commenced.

Training and education continue to be emphasized in the naval oceanography community. All meteorology/oceanography (METOC) officers are required to earn a master's degree in air/ocean science, generally at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, CA. Also, a two-year master's degree program in oceanography sponsored by the Secretary of the Navy enrolls a student a year in the curriculum administered jointly by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA.

Forecasting the Atmosphere and Oceans
The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, CA is Navy's processing center for running stateoftheart global and high resolution theater/regional-scale atmospheric and oceanographic analysis and forecast models. The center gets global environmental data through links with DOD and NOAA data distribution systems. Numerically-generated products are distributed on Navy and Joint command and control systems via the Navy theater METOC centers. These centers then develop value-added products and services tailored to specific military operations in their areas. In addition to its standard product suite, FNMOC is uniquely capable of providing high resolution forecast products on short notice for any regional area in support of global military and humanitarian contingencies.

The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO), at Stennis Space Center, MS, is responsible for collecting, processing, and distributing oceanographic, hydrographic, and other geophysical data and products. It is the Navy's primary processing facility for NOAA polar-orbiting satellite data and has been designated a national Center of Expertise for sea surface temperature measurements. Furthermore, since it is both an operational processing center and a DOD Major Shared Resource Center, research and development programs using NAVOCEANO's CRAY T90/T3E supercomputer can be easily transitioned to operational use in Navy METOC models. Additionally, NAVOCEANO's Warfighting Support Center provides near real-time, tailored oceanographic products to support operational commands at beach scales and larger. These include global ocean front and eddy analyses, preprocessed multichannel sea-surface temperature (MCSST) analyses from polar-orbiting satellites, satellite altimetry and scatterometry data from ERS and TOPEX satellites, high-resolution ocean model output, data and imagery from intelligence satellites, and Special Operations Forces support. The WSC is our most prominent example of increased emphasis on littoral support. With repeated successes in providing tailored products to expeditionary warfighting customers, and has become a recognized center of excellence for DOD operational oceanography. (Approximately 1300 requests per year are handled) With access to an unequaled pool of scientists, databases, literature, and remote sensing resources for describing the near-shore battlespace environment, the WSC can respond immediately to product requests.

In 1995, a MEDEA (Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis) Special Task Force Study was initiated by a panel of "blue-ribbon" scientists commissioned by Vice President Gore and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Their report found Navy unequaled in production of ocean databases and ocean models. The report urged a stronger cooperation between civilian and Navy ocean science communities to obtain increased national benefit from Navy investments in global data collection and modeling. This has led to a concerted effort to declassify much of the environmental data gathered for defense purposes during the Cold War.

The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) is a key player in the CNO Mine Warfare Initiative, contributing survey and tailored product support to the program. CNO N85 (Expeditionary Warfare Division) has acknowledged the importance of that support by contributing additional yearly support to the NAVOCEANO efforts in this area.

Tailored ice forecasts and analyses are provided to DOD by the National Ice Center (NIC), located in Suitland, MD, jointly operated by Navy, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard. The NIC provides sea and lake ice analyses, and forecasts for the Arctic and Antarctic regions, coastal U.S. waters, and the Great Lakes to both civil and military activities.

Four theater meteorology and oceanography (METOC) centers - located in Pearl Harbor HI, Guam, Norfolk VA, and Rota, Spain, provide broad geographical METOC services within their areas of responsibility. These centers manage and prioritize the dissemination of basic numerical products, provide full spectrum meteorological and oceanographic services, and generate tailored products to support theater and other special requirements. Routinely prepared reports include high winds and seas warnings, area and local forecasts, enroute ship weather forecasts, and ship track routing recommendations.

Currently the theater center on Guam operates the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) with the U.S. Air Force, to provide tropical cyclone warnings to DOD and U.S. interests in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. The center at Pearl Harbor, HI, issues tropical cyclone warnings for the eastern and central South Pacific. In 1999, the JTWC will move to Pearl Harbor, the Regional Center on Guam will close, and Yokosuka will become the new regional center for this area of the world. Facilities at Jacksonville FL; San Diego CA; Pensacola FL; and Yokosuka, Japan - as well as 39 smaller detachments worldwide - provide local and aviation forecast services, to aviation, afloat, and submarine staffs.

The primary sources of onscene Navy meteorological and oceanographic support for forces afloat and those ashore intheater are provided by permanently embarked Navy personnel, or by deployable assets (Mobile Environmental Teams, or MET teams). The Navy's permanent afloat meteorology and oceanography (METOC) assets are the Operational Aerology (OA) Divisions, embarked aboard major aviationcapable combatants and command ships. They interpret weather and ocean conditions to ensure optimum use of weapons and sensors and operational safety, and provide tailored onscene products and services to the assigned task force/group and allied units in Navy, Joint, or coalition military and humanitarian operations. The METs are the Navy's deployable METOC assets. These teams provide shortterm, onscene services to units and activities without permanent METOC personnel. They have their own portable sensing, processing, and display equipment and have the capability to set up a Navy Automated Weather Station at remote sites to provide direct readout and/or transmission of the data via satellite. They also deploy with portable systems to receive, display, and manipulate low resolution geostationary meteorological satellite imagery; to acquire and display the latest gridded data fields available from FNMOC's numerical model analyses and forecasts; and to receive enhanced oceanic satellite imagery from Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO).

The centerpiece of the shipboard suite of METOC equipment is the Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS), which is an interactive data fusion system which receives, stores, processes, displays, and disseminates meteorological and oceanographic data and products. An enhanced configuration, TESS Next Century (NC), capitalizing on improved personal computer (PC) technology, is under accelerated development. TESS (NC) will be a modular, computer-based support system providing warfighters on major combatant ships with METOC input to weapons loading and go/no go operational decisions. Data sources include in-situ sensors, geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites, U.S. and foreign weather broadcasts, and three-dimensional weather and oceanic data fields prepared ashore.

The Navy Integrated Tactical Environmental Sub-system (NITES) is a modular, open-architecture software sub-system of TESS (NC) that is integrated as a segment of the Navy C4I system on board all ships and at all major Navy/Marine Corps commands and staffs, both ashore and afloat. NITES integrates TESS(NC)-derived products into command and control tactical decision aids for use with strategic and tactical computer systems on smaller ships and sites. The open system design of NITES will provide complete interoperability with other DOD, Federal, and Allied command and control systems connected to the new Global Command and Control System (GCCS).

Navy's interoperability with Allies in combined operations is being vastly improved by the development of the Allied Environmental Support System (AESS) which is sold to our Allies through the Foreign Military Sales Program. Similar to U.S. Navy systems, AESS will ensure the U.S. and its allies are using the same meteorological and oceanographic products to support combined operations. AESS is already the centerpiece of shore-based METOC support for NATO and several non-NATO allied Navies. New AESS configurations for real-time warfighting at sea - on ships, submarines, and maritime patrol aircraft - are also available. Interest in AESS has expanded rapidly within NATO and in western Pacific and South American navies.

AESS is just one part of a broad program of METOC cooperation with our international allies. A number of international agreements exist which guide the routine exchange of METOC information to improve naval operations worldwide. Annual meetings with NATO and individual countries formalize the process and foster increased cooperation. Many lessons learned from U.S. Navy programs are now being incorporated by our own allies. With reduced METOC budgets for all navies, such international cooperation has resulted in a significant cost savings for all participating nations.

Navy currently has cooperative agreements for collecting survey data with nearly 30 countries. These programs are cost-effective means of leveraging allied efforts to address U.S. requirements for data in littoral regions. The Hydrographic Cooperation Program (HYCOOP) focuses on hydrographic data collection for the production of nautical charts and related products; the Oceanographic Cooperation Program (OCOOP) focuses on oceanographic data collection to satisfy mutual mine warfare or antisubmarine warfare requirements. Under both programs, the partner nation provides the survey platform, some equipment and operating personnel; the U.S. Navy contributes specialized equipment for cooperative use during the surveys and technical expertise.

Recent changes in world politics have brought unprecedented opportunities for survey access and cooperative oceanographic agreements. During the past year our military survey ships have been operating in the South China Sea, in the Arabian Gulf, and in the Mediterranean. Negotiations continue on nearly a dozen new international agreements.

The focus of Naval Oceanography remains one of collecting oceanographic data, and fusing oceanographic data from all sources into tactically useful products and services for the Fleet. Although more than 210 ship-years of high-priority littoral oceanographic, hydrographic, and geophysical survey requirements remain, we are making steady progress toward that goal. 

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