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CHIPS Articles: US Navy Task Force Ocean Convenes Executive Steering Committee, Sets Way Ahead

US Navy Task Force Ocean Convenes Executive Steering Committee, Sets Way Ahead
By Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy - July-September 2017
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and Office of Naval Research convened Task Force Ocean's second executive steering committee, July 6, at the Pentagon.

The committee meeting, kicked off by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson, served as a forum to drive direction of the future of the task force and foster a discussion between the executive steering committee and leaders from the ocean science community.

"It's become a national responsibility and I feel very good about the Navy taking responsibility of reinvigorating ocean sciences," said Richardson. "The science that feeds our undersea advantage has been shrinking for some time now. Our margin is shrinking faster and faster and we need to recapture the momentum. That's what this effort [Task Force Ocean] is all about."

The executive steering committee members, which include senior leadership from Commander, Pacific Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces, Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Coast Guard, convened to discuss new initiatives and provide updates for the task force.

Oceanographer of the Navy and Director Task Force Ocean Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet discussed the significance of having senior leadership from the Navy and ocean science community at the same table.

"Having some of the country's most influential leaders and scientists together today reflects the urgency to ensure the U.S. retains a leading role in advancing our understanding of the oceans," said Gallaudet. "Moving forward, we need to take that understanding and apply it to our national security challenges."

This task force, launched in March, is part of an effort to further assess the state of ocean science in the Navy, which encompasses its oceanographic infrastructure, technologies, technical workforce and how they are applied to naval operations. During the steering committee, the task force's five working groups were tasked with constructing a comprehensive ocean science roadmap. The roadmap will focus on the Navy's capability to observe the ocean environment, process the collected data into products that can be used by operational commanders, and further strengthen the Navy's ocean science technical workforce.

Gallaudet further elaborated on the importance of engaging with the ocean science community.

"I share a deep interest with CNO Richardson in advancing ocean science for the Navy, not only because of our missions, but also because we both benefited from Navy graduate degree programs at two leading ocean science institution," said Gallaudet. "Engaging with ocean science institutions like these is critical to the success of the task force's mission."

Completion of the ocean science roadmap is expected by the end of 2017.

The Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy is the chief of naval operations' resource, requirements and policy advisor for the Navy's oceanography program. The oceanographer also serves as the Navy's senior policy adviser for issues related to national ocean policy and governance and interagency ocean activities.

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