GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) is continuing to advance its unmanned underwater systems operational expertise during the annual Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Advanced Naval Technical Exercise (ANTX) this month.
Newport, Rhode Island-based NUWC, which sponsors an annual event in Newport, is partnering with NMOC this year on the Mississippi Coast to do operational testing of promising new unmanned underwater and surface technologies in a series of events designed around actual operational scenarios. NUWC invites representatives of academia, industry and the military to Newport to observe new unmanned underwater vehicle technology – hardware, vehicles and software.
Naval Oceanography’s role in ANTX is to test and evaluate emerging unmanned systems into operational mission scenarios in the Gulf of Mexico to see what works, how well it works and its potential utility in future Navy operations.
“While Naval ANTX events have been going on for a number of years, this year is the first time an ANTX event has occurred along the Mississippi coast and we couldn’t be happier to cohost this event,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, NMOC commander. “It is a recognition of our expertise in the operation of unmanned underwater vehicles. It gives us the opportunity to test and evaluate some of industry’s newest unmanned systems and enable us to rapidly deliver accurate atmospheric, oceanographic and hydrographic information to the fleet using more efficient methods.”
NMOC will conduct a “Demonstration and Media Day” on Aug. 22, as part of the Oceans in Action Workshop in Gulfport, Miss., to capstone their portion of the ANTX event. The Newport part of ANTX will be held Aug. 29-30. The Naval Oceanography “vignettes” occurred in the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico this summer as teams from the Naval Oceanographic Office, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center, and Fleet Survey Team operated new technologies to meet fleet objectives. Their Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center unmanned systems team will conduct their operation test in Narragansett Bay during the event in Newport.
NMOC, based at Stennis Space Center, Miss., uses unmanned vehicles to collect atmospheric, oceanographic and hydrographic data to characterize the fleet’s battlespace environment and for specific Navy operations in mine warfare, in special warfare, in bottom mapping, and in anti-submarine warfare.
Todd Bowers, NMOC ANTX lead, said NUWC was interested in partnering with NMOC because the Mississippi Coast offered a different testing environment than Rhode Island – different bottom types, an operating area from confined inland waterways to the large open Gulf – and because NMOC Sailors and civilians know unmanned underwater systems, thanks to their years of experience with the technology.
For NMOC, ANTX is a follow-on to last year’s Unmanned Systems Operational Demonstration on the Mississippi Coast, held in late May-early June. Operations and observations collected during that demonstration were integrated into a common operational picture.
NMOC, a part of the Navy Information Warfare Community, 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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