Naval Oceanography Commander Talks Unmanned Systems Strategy at Undersea Warfare Conference
24 September 2015 - Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, rolled out his command's unmanned systems strategy at the National Defense Industrial Association's 2015 Joint Undersea Warfare Conference, Sept. 22.
The Naval Oceanography Unmanned Systems strategy will increase capabilities to collect environmental information for warfighting while sharing the Naval Oceanography community's two decades of experience with other unmanned systems stakeholders.
For more than 20 years, naval oceanographers, operating 100+ unmanned systems, have collected information from more than 250,000 miles of physical battlespace so that Naval and Joint commanders can make better decisions faster than the adversary.
"Our innovative use of unmanned systems plays a critical role in collecting data that directly supports anti-submarine, mine, amphibious, strike, special and expeditionary warfare," said Gallaudet. "The technology is perfectly suited for other 'dull, dirty and dangerous' missions and provides a flexible and cost-effective solution to a variety of warfighting challenges."
The goals of the strategy are:
1.) expand Naval Oceanography's use of unmanned systems
2.) enable the Fleet and Joint Forces' use of unmanned systems
3.) engage unmanned systems stakeholders to accelerate development of future systems
Specific objectives include increasing Naval Oceanography's use of unmanned systems in Fleet and Joint operations and exercises; using unmanned systems and integrating collected data to develop a Physical Battlespace Awareness Common Operational Picture; and establishing a global Physical Battlespace Awareness Maritime Operations Center.
The document also provides for outreach opportunities to unmanned systems developers, expanded partnerships within the science and technology and research and development communities as well as increased coordination with unmanned systems requirement officers. These ongoing relationships will ensure that future systems will continually benefit from the community's considerable operational experience.
"With a wealth of 'best practices' in mission planning, launch/recovery, operations, manning, training, maintenance and data exfiltration, Naval Oceanography offers a firm foundation for other unmanned systems programs," Gallaudet said. "We will continue to advance the application of unmanned systems in the Navy and the Department of Defense."
In June, the Naval Oceanography and Submarine Force communities entered into a memorandum of agreement to develop and field an autonomous undersea vehicle with multi-mission capabilities that can be launched from multiple platforms.
The variant will merge the Naval Oceanography's program of record Littoral Battlespace and Sensing AUV (LBS-AUV) and the Navy Undersea Warfare Enterprise's Fleet Modular Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (FMAUV). Initially the new vehicles will collect hydrographic quality ocean bottom data and ocean bottom imagery to increase the Naval Oceanography community's data inventory.
The Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (COMNAVMETOCCOM) directs and oversees the collection, processing and exploitation of accurate, relevant and timely oceanographic, meteorological, hydrographic, precise time and astrometric information. COMNAVMETOCCOM is assigned as CTG 80.7 under U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and is part of the Information Dominance Corps.
Naval Oceanography includes approximately 2,500 globally distributed military and civilian personnel.