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Naval Oceanography is about generating competitive advantage across the warfighting and shaping spectrum through Battlespace on Demand (BonD). BonD, is a strategic concept that consists of three tiers, each of which builds on the previous tier to ultimately produce enhanced decision-making capabilities for the warfighter. It is the framework used to inform our operational and technical domains, drives our investment strategy and enables us to keep the Fleet safe, and enhance warfighting effectiveness by achieving decision superiority.

Tier 0:  Data from various sources are collected, assimilated and fused to provide initial and boundary conditions that accurately describe the current ocean and atmosphere environment, as well as the celestial and temporal reference frames.

Tier 1:  Data from satellites, altimetry, gliders, buoys and other collection methods are incorporated to initialize computations. Then, our high performance supercomputers run complex models to continually forecast and verify the future state of the ocean and atmosphere.

Tier 2:  The environment modeled in Tier 1 will impact sensors, weapons, platforms and people, providing opportunities and restrictions for operations and warfighting. We define the influences on planning, force structure, targeting, timing, maneuver, tactics, techniques and procedures. The result is a “performance surface” that accounts for both the predicted environment and the capabilities and behaviors of the force – both allies and adversaries.

Tier 3:  Performance surfaces are applied to specific decision-making processes to quantify risk and opportunity at strategic, operational and tactical levels. We provide actionable recommendations on force allocation and employment that directly enhance safety and warfighting effectiveness.


Commander, Naval METOC Command (COMNAVMETOCCOM)
COMNAVMETOCCOM is an echelon three  command reporting to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. This worldwide organization is comprised of nearly three thousand officer, enlisted and civilian personnel at two primary production centers, twelve fleet support centers, as well as a number of facilities, detachments and aboard the ships and aircraft used in conducting oceanographic surveys. COMNAVMETOCCOM is also designated as the Hydrographer of the Navy.

Headquarters: Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, MS.
Commander: Rear Admiral (Lower)

Production Centers
The Naval Oceanographic Office  in Bay St. Louis, MS and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA, are the two main production centers of the Naval METOC Community. Both are host to state-of-the-art computer processing systems and supply meteorological and oceanographic products to the warfighter throughout the world.

  -  The Naval Oceanographic Office is responsible for applying relevant oceanographic knowledge across a full spectrum of warfare through smart collection, focused analysis and responsive delivery, by generating strategic, operational and tactical worldwide oceanographic and geospatial products and services to met the U.S. Navy and DoD safe navigation and weapons/sensor performance requirements; conducting multi-disciplinary ocean surveys; collecting and analyzing all-source oceanographic data; providing global numerical oceanographic observations and products; and implementing numerical techniques to solve oceanographic analytical and forecasting problems, to maximize America’s Sea Power.

  -  The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center produces global and regional scale meteorological and oceanographic prediction products, including analyses, forecasts and tactical decision aids for direct operational use by Navy ships and aircraft. It is commanded by a Captain.

Warfare Directorates
Four Warfare Directorates have been established to support the warfighter across eight warfare areas. The directorates include:

1.     Undersea Warfare.

            Anti-Submarine Warfare: Focused on forward presence with reachback support, personnel in the ASW Directorate are using state of the art technology to capture the characteristics of the water column and turn that data into usable information for the warfighter. Billets are worldwide, both ashore and afloat.

            Mine Warfare:  Focused on all facets of MIW. METOC officers are expected to learn a myriad of skills including UUV employment, side scan sonar interpretation, and advanced MIW planning. Billets are worldwide, both ashore and afloat.

     2.  Expeditionary Warfare. Focused on providing Naval Special Warfare with sea, air and land (SEAL) high ground information by defining the physical environment to optimize mission planning for tactical advantage.  Deployments with SEAL teams are common, requiring outstanding physical fitness and an ability to conduct METOC support operations in remote locations.

     3.  Weather Services. 

          Fleet Operations:  Focused on METOC support for afloat units. Officers are generally attached to a specific ship (LHD/LHA/CVN), Strike Group and Numbered Fleets and will conduct normal deployments. Opportunities exist for deployments to joint task forces or similar staffs.

          Maritime Operations: Responsible for providing enroute weather (WEAX) and Optimum Track Ship Routing, a service designed to keep ships safely away from hazardous weather, to afloat units. Officers in this directorate initially qualify as maritime forecasters enroute to final qualification as a "Ship Router". These positions are located in Norfolk and San Diego.

          Aviation Operations:  Focused on flight weather support to air forces around the world to support safety of flight. Billets are worldwide to include two joint USAF/USN weather centers in Sembach, Germany and Pearl Harbor, HI.

     4.  Prescise Time and Astrometry

         Navigation:  Focused on providing hydrographic surveys supporting real world operations, as identified by Combatant Commanders and other DOD customers. Consisting primarily of USNS hydrographic survey vessels and the Fleet Survey team, their combined objective is to deliver digital and/or paper navigation products within a single deployment (45-60 day turnaround). They operate state of the art side-scan and multi-beam sonar technologies, GPS, and modern hydrographic survey launches (HSLs). Officers in this directorate are trained in the art and science of hydrography and deploy around the world as coastal and harbor survey units.

         Positioning and Timing:  The Naval Observatory and is the preeminent authority in the areas of Precise Time and Astrometry, and distributes Earth Orientation parameters and other Astronomical Data required for accurate navigation and fundamental astronomy.

Major and Joint Staffs
METOC Officers can be found on a number of major and joint staffs throughout the world. Major staffs include the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Pacific Fleet and numerous component commands. Joint assignments include the U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S Strategic Command, National Geospatial Agency and NATO.

Research and Development (R&D) / SYSCOMS
METOC Officers can also be found in the R&D arena including Office of Naval Research, Naval Research Laboratory and PEO-C4I Space. Twenty-five percent of all the Navy's PhD assignments are within the METOC Community.

Both the terms “OCEANO” and “METOC” are used to refer to the Oceanography community.

The broader OCEANO community is comprised of Active and Reserve component Restricted Line Officers (180x), Limited Duty or Special Duty Officers (646x) and Aerographer’s Mates (AG). The community is also supported by many in the civil service (Government Service - GS) as well as defense contractors.

·         There are roughly 400 1800/6460 billets in the Navy

·         ~ 350 1800s

·         ~ 45 6460s

·         There are about 1250 AGs in the Navy

Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) is the TYCOM, and CNMOC headquarters is located at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.

The “Oceanographer of the Navy” is the senior 1800 within OPNAV (N2/N6) in Washington, DC.

The Oceanography community is:

·         A sea going community

-         We have Oceanographer and Meteorologist on ships and assigned to sea-going detachments that deploy on ships and overseas.

·         A supporter of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)

-         We have officers and enlisted on “Individual Augmentation” (IA) assignments in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa (HOA), and other places around the world.

·         A restricted line (RL) community

-         By definition from Navy Regulations, RL Officers are not eligible for command at sea. Oceanography officers are eligible for command ashore; screening for command at the O5 level is a career milestone.

-         By definition we specialize in the geophysical domain: oceanography, meteorology, and hydrography.

OCEANO Community Health Brief


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