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NEWS | July 21, 2022

Big Lake Native Serves with fleet survey Team at Stennis Space Center

By By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

 A Big Lake, Minnesota, native serves with the Fleet Survey Team (FST) collocated with the Naval Oceanographic Office and the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.

Ensign Austin Abbott, a 2013 Big Lake High School graduate, joined the Navy over one year ago."I am new to Fleet Survey Team and still in the training department," said Abbott. "Right now, I am learning the ins and outs of hydrographic surveying in preparation for future operational deployments."

FST is comprised of approximately 65 military and civilian members. They are a rapid-response team with capabilities to conduct quick-turnaround hydrographic surveys anywhere in the world. FST command members are commonly known as the Fightin’ Crawdads in reference to the crawfish featured prominently in the FST logo. 

When forces are armed with detailed descriptions of the environmental conditions they could face, operations have a greater chance of being safely and efficiently executed. FST gathers the needed information via timely, self-contained hydrographic surveys in response to combatant commanders’ requests. Frequently, these requests are for areas where Navy operations will take place or where chart accuracy is uncertain. Team members can quickly deploy to areas around the world outfitted with equipment to perform surveys from its own small boats or various boats of opportunity.
In addition to their strong backgrounds in math, science and engineering, officers and civilians frequently obtain master’s degrees in hydrographic science through an ongoing program with The University of Southern Mississippi and are also recognized by the International Hydrographic Office as Category A hydrographers.

CNMOC 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, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.
As Abbott and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy. 

Abbott graduated from the University of Minnestoa in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

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