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NEWS | May 8, 2023

Naval Oceanography Critical Part of U.S. Citizen Evacuations in Sudan

By Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography CommandPublic Affairs

Recently, the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (Naval Oceanography) proved mission-essential in the first U.S.-led evacuation of hundreds of American citizens from the, currently war-torn, country of Sudan.
Naval Oceanography provided critical forecasts and surveys of ports, harbors and coastal areas navigated by U.S. Navy ships during [non-combative] evacuation procedures from a port city in Sudan. 
“The Naval Oceanographic Office [Naval Oceanography subordinate command] provided support with specialized analysis of ports, harbors, and the surrounding coastal environment including bathymetry, marine geology, hazardous marine life, and navigational hazards,” said Michael Bourgeois, Naval Oceanography, CENTCOM 5th Fleet Representative.

Predictive weather forecasting and models associated for close, real-time visualization of weather require immense collaboration and supercomputing power to sort massive data used in the process.

According to Bourgeois, Naval Oceanography’s Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography command (FNMOC) used high-performance computing to run oceanography and meteorology global, regional and coastal models during evacuations for a 10-day outlook of forecasted weather.

“Naval Oceanography owns the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) SW Asia model and hosts the Wave Watch 3 model run at 0.25deg resolution with forecasts out to 240 hours for some meteorological parameters,” Bourgeois said.

Naval Oceanography as supply─has a request-based process for weather forecasting products and services, where Department of Defense (DOD) components, namely U.S. Navy: ships; submarines; aircraft; Fleets; and special operations are ─ the demand.

“Individual ship forecasts and regional forecasts are provided direct to US and coalition forces upon request from Fleet Weather Centers Norfolk and San Diego [Naval Oceanography subordinate commands],” Bourgeois said.

Naval Oceanography provides critical environmental information necessary for success in any military operation, to include evacuation of Americans from hostile situations, like the current state of Sudan.

“Product sets support typical military operations over the land, sea, and air,” said Bourgeois. “We synthesize Navy models with other publicly and commercially available models to analyze the environment and make military operations over air, land, and sea happen safely and successfully.”
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.

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