SAN DIEGO – Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different. With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed in the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s area of operations, sailors stationed at Fleet Weather Center San Diego, make it their primary mission to monitor weather conditions in support of the fleet’s daily operations.
Petty Officer 1st Class Taylor Kane, a 2012 Kellam High School graduate and native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is one of these sailors serving at the Fleet Weather Center, providing full-spectrum weather services to shore-based commands and afloat naval units.
As a Navy aerographer's mate, Kane is responsible for acting as a meteorologist for the Navy and Department of Defense installations across the world.
Kane credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Virginia Beach.
“I learned growing up in a military town to always cherish the moments you have with friends and family because the military is always on the move," said Kane. "Enjoy that time and keep in touch with the people who matter most.”
Additionally, Sailors serving with the Fleet Weather Center ensure naval installations, contingency exercises and operations are able to facilitate risk management, resource protection and mission success of fleet, regional and individual unit commanders.
Fleet Weather Center San Diego provides U.S. and coalition ship, submarine and aircraft weather forecasts including en route and operating area forecasts. In addition, they deploy certified Strike Group Oceanography Teams and Mobile Environmental Teams from the commands to provide tactical warfighting advantage for strike and amphibious forces afloat through the application of meteorological and oceanographic sciences.
“Naval Oceanography defines and applies the physical environment for the entire Navy fleet from the bottom of the ocean to the stars,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “There isn't a plane that flies, a ship or a submarine that gets underway without the sailors and civilians of Naval Oceanography.”
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
Being stationed in San Diego, the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, means Kane is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies. The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades, according to Navy officials.
Though there are many ways for Sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Kane is most proud of being a member of the all-Navy skeet shooting team.
“It is very difficult and rare to be able to join an all-Navy team. You have to be the best of the best,” said Kane. “Hundreds of people apply and only 10 people make the team. To be one of the few females on the team it is a huge accomplishment that I am very proud of. If you set your mind to something and work hard you can make your dreams come true. You have to work hard for it though, it won't be handed to you.”
“I am sixth generation military. My parents were both in the Navy," said Kane. "My family is very proud of serving our country so that the American people can have their freedom. Only one percent of the nation gets the honor to serve.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Kane and other Sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” added Kane.