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Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC)

Naval Oceanography is DOD’s Leading UUV Authority

by Jonathan B. Holloway
24 February 2022 STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. —— Underwater warfare, as a physical-battlespace, has grown in parallel to current technological innovation, expanding use of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), and the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (Naval Oceanography) has prepared—over the last 150 years—to be the  nation’s leading authority for all things UUV.
Naval Oceanography uses an assortment of UUVs to collect environmental-battlespace data which create real-time, predictive models for operational purposes to the U.S. Navy’s Fleet—where each UUV is utilized based on its unique capability.
“We [Naval Oceanography] have participated in surges of 50 and 100 unmanned vehicles in past years and this year we expect to deploy up to 200 unmanned underwater vehicles over the Atlantic Ocean to better characterize the complex ocean currents,” said Rear Admiral Ron Piret, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC).
Naval Oceanography is home to the 24-hour, seven-days a week Glider Operations Center—a UUV program established in 2010 of civilian pilots who command and control an inventory of over 130 Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Gliders (LBS-G).These buoyancy-driven UUVs are deployed globally, using satellite communication to set predetermined locations in collecting data.
As experts in UUV acquisitions, depot level-maintenance, deployment, recovery, operations, command and control; Naval Oceanography has the ability to answer the nation’s call and meet adversarial challenges, as champions of unmanned systems.
“We put more than 1300 unmanned observing systems out for monitoring the environment,” Piret continued. “It’s about providing decisive advantages to our Navy and Department of Defense (DOD) partners by ensuring that our weather and ocean environmental information superiority is better than anyone else, and we rely on UUV expertise to execute that.”
Largely, UUVs are platforms that can carry different payloads and sensors, with varying ability to traverse the deep-sea.
“We deliver environmental knowledge into decisions,” said Piret. “Therefore, we are always pushing the boundaries of technology to get the edge on capabilities to support our Naval warfighting mission.”
To name a few, Naval Oceanography uses the Remote Environmental Measuring Units (REMUS) class of UUVs: the REMUS 100;  REMUS 600(LBS-AUV program);  REMUS 2500; and REMUS 6000, all man-portable, programmable vehicles that can perform independent operations from a shore, host platform and capable of  diving meters below the surface,  annotated after its title. (Ex: REMUS 600 dives 600 meters
Naval Oceanography UUVs provide critical information about the physical-battlespace environment as the first and most critical element to the Navy while in-transit, upon arrival, and during operations.
“There isn’t an aircraft that flies, a ship or submarine that sails without the people of Naval Oceanography,” Piret said. “Naval Oceanography is constantly collecting as many observations as we can, in real-time, to provide the foundational understanding of the environment and the initial conditions for our numerical modeling systems.”
Once Naval Oceanography’s UUVs have collected environmental data, it is fed, along with other observational data, into high-performance computing systems that produce numerical environmental-models—helping Navy and DOD leadership make vital, war-based decisions.
“Our complex suite of scientific numerical prediction systems provide short and long term forecasts of the atmosphere, ocean, waves, ice and surf, that is information assured at all classification levels,” said Piret. “These lead to the most important part of our mission, the combination of the true state of the environment into winning decisions.”
Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions faster than the adversary.
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