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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2023

WEST 2023: Naval Oceanography Answers Future Challenges

By LCDR Bobby Dixon, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Ron Piret, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (Naval Oceanography) and subordinate commands participated and attended AFCEA-USNI WEST (WEST) 2023 conference, Feb. 14-16.
Considering global tensions, the premier naval conference and exposition—WEST—themed its 33rd iteration as: “Readiness, Capability and Capacity: How Do the Sea Services Match Up Against the Future Threat?”
Piret answered the theme’s call when he addressed the audience in the Information Warfare Pavilion speaker series where he shared Naval Oceanography’s mission and capacity with industry professionals, academia, and other military leaders.
“[W]e have been utilizing various new capabilities, from our unmanned systems technology to new modeling software to meet today’s challenges,” said Piret. “For tomorrow’s challenges, we are working with the government, academia, and industry on the next best thing.”
Naval Oceanography has used its advanced network of unmanned systems, operating daily throughout the planet for over two decades below the waves of every body of water on earth.
The 2500 sailors, scientists, engineers, and technical experts work in over 20 fields of science and engineering starting on the ocean floor to the farthest known star. Via billions of data sets gathered daily, Naval Oceanography gathers and stores vast amounts of historical and current data that pictures a full view of our Earth’s atmosphere in stunning detail.
“These models make up the next phase of the Battle on Demand, the forecast,” Piret said. “Observations and climatology used by numerical models run on our High-Performance Computing (HPC), to forecast the state of the ocean or the atmosphere into the future. Our complex suite of scientific numerical prediction systems provides short and long-term forecasts of the atmosphere, ocean, waves, ice, and surf, which is information assured at all classification levels.”
Naval Oceanography has a highly skilled workforce-family, of uniformed military and talented citizens, throughout the globe constantly gathering environmental data.
In addition to Piret’s attendance, Mr. Wade Ladner, Technical Director, Naval Oceanographic Office, Captain Christi Montgomery, commanding officer, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Captain Kate Hermsdorfer, commanding officer, Fleet Weather Center – San Diego, Commander Jim Scianna, commanding officer, Strike Group Oceanography Team – San Diego, and Commander Mark Hebert, commanding officer Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center, all participated in manning the Naval Oceanography booth, attended various events and spoke to members of the press for one on one and group interviews.
Each command provided sailors and civilians to man the booth at the convention to speak to the various unmanned underwater systems (REMUS 600, 100, MK18), and Ice Buoy (Spotter), and provide the overall mission and capabilities of Naval Oceanography.
One recurring highlight of WEST is the chance to hear from the Secretary of the Navy, Sea Service Chiefs - the Chief of Naval Operations, the Marine Corps Commandant and the Coast Guard Commandant, and many past and present military and industry leaders.
In addition to the main program, WEST offered three Engagement Theaters: Marine, General, and Information Warfare. These smaller, more intimate venues allowed military, government, and industry professionals to drill deeper into specific topics and issues.
WEST is now in its 33rd year of bringing military and industry leaders together. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, WEST is an event in which the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies can network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions in a single locale.
Naval Oceanography has approximately 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 guarantee the U.S. Navy’s freedom of action in the physical battlespace from the depths of the ocean to the stars.

Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command | 1100 Balch Blvd. | Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529