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CHIPS Articles: Navy Meteorology and Oceanography forecasters are guiding the way for 2018 Fleet Week New York

Navy Meteorology and Oceanography forecasters are guiding the way for 2018 Fleet Week New York
By George Lammons, Navy Information Forces Public Affairs - May 30, 2018
NEW YORK -- As U.S. Navy ships sailed for the Big Apple, they provided detailed weather information and recommendations to ensure they were prepared to make a safe transit. In fact, the Navy receives meteorological and oceanographic forecasts and recommendations every day for a variety of operations around the globe.

As U.S. Navy ships sailed for the Big Apple, they provided detailed weather information and recommendations to ensure they were prepared to make a safe transit. In fact, the Navy receives meteorological and oceanographic forecasts and recommendations every day for a variety of operations around the globe.

Six Navy ships, four Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats, three coast Guard Cutters and one Canadian Navy ship are in New York this celebrating the 30th year of Fleet Week New York.

"Understanding environmental conditions and impacts is the first step for any U.S. Navy operation," said Rear Adm. John Okon, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), the Navy's operational weather and ocean forecasting command and a part of the Navy's Information Warfare Community. "There isn't an aircraft that flies, a ship or submarine that sails without the people of Naval Oceanography. America's Navy starts with us!"

Weather forecasters under the command of NMOC routed the ships and are providing pier side and aviation forecasts during the week-long event, activities that mirror normal responsibilities.

"It will be like a regular operation - similar to the way that we would support them [on a deployment]. We will provide a few additional products because of the event, but it will be the same kind of support," said Cmdr. Heather Quilenderino, Fleet Weather Center-Norfolk (FWC) operations officer. FWC Norfolk, a NMOC subordinate is responsible for all Navy weather and ocean forecasting in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Lt. Cmdr. Rich Ilczuk, Carrier Strike Group 10 oceanography officer, will brief Rear Adm. John Meier, Carrier Strike Group 10 commander, daily during Fleet Week on weather and ocean conditions and how those conditions will impact the day's planned operations, including exhibits and demonstrations. When the shipboard aircraft travel to shore for the week, Ilczuk and FWC-Norfolk will provide forecasts. The team also will forecast for ship movements and aviation movements, including a 96-hour forecast for the ship underway period.

The only difference will be that Ilczuk will depend on FWC forecasters rather than the Strike Group Oceanography Team (SGOT), a group of forecasters that joins the strike group when it deploys. SGOTs for East Coast-based strike groups are assigned to FWC-Norfolk, which provides reach back support to forward-deployed forecasters.

The level of support mirrors the normal operational tempo of Navy weather and ocean forecasting for deployed units. Anytime a strike group is underway, Navy meteorologists and oceanographers forecast for every single operation. The meteorology/oceanography division officer meets daily with the strike group operations officer and the carrier commanding officer to know the operation plans in order to prepare forecasts and operational recommendations based on forecast weather and ocean conditions and the impacts they will have.

"Weather and ocean forecasts are absolutely essential to ensuring that every naval operation is safe and effective," Okon said. "We impact every Navy platform, afloat and ashore, and every Sailor around the globe."

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 to the stars.

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