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NEWS | March 2, 2023

Naval Oceanography Expounds Its Sea Expertise at 2023 Oceanology Conference

By By: Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Ron Piret, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) gave an address as a co-keynote speaker and participated in an in-depth panel discussion during the San Diego-based ocean science, technology, and engineering conference—Oceanology International Americas (OiA) 2023, Feb. 14-16.
Piret highlighted challenges and successes of the Naval Oceanography workforce family, comprised of 2,500 Sailors and Civilians, who are experts on everything science from the ocean floor to the farthest known star;  using that expertise as a critical part of our nation’s Navy.
“At Sea, we are the subject matter experts to explain the environment and protect our naval forces,” said Piret. “[D]ata and discoveries made are collected by Naval Oceanography to inform strategic, operational, and tactical decision-makers to maximize lethality in the selection of platform, weapon, sensors, and area of engagement at the time and place of our choosing.”
As a conference and exposition, OiA is designed for stakeholders who explore, protect, and operate in the world’s oceans and waterways, offering access to comprehensive, innovative solutions, content and expertise; facilitated through in-person networking. 
Piret’s address did not shy away from adversarial threats currently faced by the U.S., and just how Naval Oceanography’s capabilities can curtail those threats.
“Identifying and exploiting these ‘high grounds’ in the battlespace is our charge…seeking opportunities where our adversaries only see risk,” Piret said. “Whether it be the South China Sea or the Black Sea, Naval Oceanography’s 2500-plus Sailors, and Civilians have been working in all of the earth’s oceans to provide decision-makers and policy leaders the best environmental information for the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
OiA’s audience had a chance to hear about the dynamic work taking place at Naval Oceanography, responsible for its vast unmanned systems, data collection and modeling capability.
“We [Naval Oceanography] have been utilizing various new capabilities, from our unmanned systems technology to new modeling software to meet today’s challenges,” said Piret. “Collecting and gathering that data are important steps along the path to generating usable inputs (models)… underpinned by our High-Performance Computing partnerships with the DoD High-Performance Computing Modernization Office.”
With leading-edge technology in its arsenal, Naval Oceanography’s advanced competencies enhance the Fleet’s ability to make the right choice at the right time.
“One of those systems is NEPTUNE whose capabilities are a potential game-changer in atmospheric modeling…the highest resolution of Navy global atmospheric models (8-9km), coupled with community-developed parameterizations, and advanced capabilities for changing resolution based on operational needs or relevant weather features that require higher resolution to depict,” Piret said.
Piret was joined by: Dr Ralph Rayner, Oceanology International Americas Conference Chair; Hon. Dr Rick Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administrator;  Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada's Ocean SuperCluster; and Charles Colgan, Director of Research, Centre for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute.
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—participated in a separate panel discussion on day two of OiA where they expounded on Naval Oceanography’s subordinate commands and their respective missions.
Additionally, Commander Mark Hebert, Commanding Officer Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center, participated in a standup discussion at the NOAA pavilion speaking to over 30 individuals from companies, academia, and government partners about what his command does and the overall Naval Oceanography
OiA attracts key end-users from oil & gas, renewables, maritime security, marine science, ports, aquaculture, data, & subsea and stakeholder groups (manufacturers, contractors, operators, developers, distributors, engineers, technologists, regulators, research, governments, NGOs, etc.).
Oceanology International Americas offers ocean professionals the opportunity to take a deep dive into strategic, topical, technical and scientific conference content. Developed in partnership with the Marine Technology Society, and the Society of Underwater Technology, conference plenary sessions and technical tracks have been designed to ensure attendees get the best possible insights and most up to date knowledge from representatives of government, academia and industry.
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.

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