STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, June 7, with commemoration ceremonies at Stennis Space Center (SSC), Mississippi, and aboard USNS Maury and USNS Bruce C. Heezen undeway in the Atlantic Ocean.
"It is our honor to remember those who came before us and paid the ultimate price 75 years ago this week, and also to celebrate one of the Navy's greatest accomplishments, the turning point in the Pacific in World War II," said NAVOCEANO Commanding Officer Capt. Greg Ireton.
Each year, NAVOCEANO commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Midway, which took place June 4-7, 1942, with a wreath-laying ceremony aboard one of the six T-AGS class oceanographic survey ships under the command's technical control. For this year's milestone anniversary, the command took its celebration to another level, holding three concurrent ceremonies, two at sea and one ashore.
At 0830 central time, Ireton led NAVOCEANO and other naval meteorology and oceanography commands based at SSC in a brief commemoration ceremony and wreath-laying. During the ceremony, Ireton related the use of information warfare at Midway to its use by the naval oceanography community today, encouraging the next generation of Sailors and civilians to strive for greatness, saying, "Like the Navy cryptologists in the Battle of Midway, we are both persistent and creative when confronted with a challenge. We are a team that makes its own luck, and we, too, will achieve victory."
NAVOCEANO detachments and crew members aboard USNS Maury and USNS Bruce C. Heezen held wreath-laying ceremonies concurrent with the ceremony at SSC. Members of each ship's crew and NAVOCEANO detachments gathered on the fantail of each ship as the masters explained the history of the battle and the resulting momentum shift in the nation's stance from defense to offense. A moment of silence was observed and wreaths were lowered overboard in memory for the lives lost and the families left behind.
Ireton and NAVOCEANO leadership aboard each ship reminded attendees that these ceremonies were not held in mourning, but in celebration of the significance that Midway plays in the U.S. Navy's history and in honor of the heroes who brought our nation to victory.
NAVOCEANO, comprised of military, civilian and contractor personnel, uses a variety of platforms, including ships, aircraft, satellite sensors, buoys and unmanned underwater vehicles to collect oceanographic and hydrographic data from the world's oceans. The data collected is then analyzed and utilized in products that support the warfighter.
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