MONTEREY, CA – Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), the Navy’s premier numerical modeling center, launched a program intended to strengthen the relationship between its warfighting support team and the ships they support and to capture valuable fleet input on the services they provide.
Named “FNMOC to the Fleet,” the program pairs a team of civilian scientists with Aerographer’s Mates to provide on-site operational training and education on FNMOC tools and products to the Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) team. This interaction is also an opportunity for the warfighter to provide immediate, deckplate feedback on FNMOC’s product suite. For many of the scientists taking part, this is their first opportunity to go to sea.
In December 2017, Lt. j.g. Heather Pickett led the FNMOC to the Fleet team consisting of Matthew Lauridsen, a Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) meteorologist, and T.J. Andrzejewski, an Information Technology Systems Administrator onboard the USS Harry S. Truman in Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8), during their unit level carrier qualifications.
“They are a great team that stepped right in, integrated with my division and got to work. They accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cassandra Sisti, CSG-8 METOC Officer.
The on-scene technical work proved mutually beneficial as FNMOC and CSG-8 were able to investigate issues which were preventing continuous METOC support. One such success story is the implementation of a new capability—Ship-Following COAMPS. This innovative development brings continuous coverage of high resolution weather model data to the ship that enhances the forecasting ability of the METOC team onboard for safety of navigation and flight as well as sensor and weapons system performance prediction.
A key component for the Ship-Following COAMPS is the Hazardous Weather Detection and Display Capability (HWDDC). While onboard the USS Harry S. Truman, the FNMOC team discovered that HWDDC was improperly transmitting its location back to FNMOC. Mr. Andrzejewski was able to quickly troubleshoot the connectivity issues, and reactivate Ship-Following COAMPS for the ship.
Established in 1961, FNMOC provides a wide variety of products and services to the DoD, including the U.S. Navy’s operational climatology support, Global and Regional Ocean and Atmospheric models, tactical decision aids and optimum path flight planning services.
FNMOC also provides all meteorology, oceanography and satellite data to the Global Broadcasting System (GBS), a critical passive (receive-only) data subscription service that provides data to fleet users when communications are degraded. Lt. j.g. Pickett, working with the ship’s IT team, ensured that the USS Harry S. Truman’s GBS was set up to receive and utilize a continued delivery of FNMOC model data and satellite imagery throughout all underway periods and deployments.
“I know that if something doesn't work out here, I've got a great team to reach back to and get help from.” said Lt. Cmdr. Sisti in response to the success of the trip. “My team now has a better understanding of what FNMOC does and… that the products are very well supported. I think this will encourage them to speak up and…change things for the better.”
FNMOC is a world recognized numerical weather prediction center with a staff of 20 military and 158 civilian personnel 35 contractors.