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Naval Oceanography Visits Philippine Navy, Supporting Free and Open Indo-Pacific

03 August 2022

From Public Affairs Office Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

PHILIPPINES - Dr. John Edward Murray Brown from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command visited the Philippine Navy (PN) headquarters (HQ) and other commands reinforcing the U.S-Philippine partnership and efforts to support a free and open Indo-Pacific—following the 31st U.S.-Philippine Hydrographic Survey Working Group (HSWG), June 20-30, 2022.

Naval Oceanography’s Indo-Pacific 3rd & 7th Fleet Representative, Dr. Brown visited Philippine Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Nichols Driz at Fleet HQ’s Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangely Point, Cavite City, June 29.
Brown’s visit with Driz reaffirmed commitments made during the week prior at the 31st HSWG, held at Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig City, Manila.
“The visit was very fruitful, we discussed our navies’ future joint hydrographic survey activities and how to further streamline those processes and procedures,” said Brown.
The 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS) prioritizes: (1) defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat; (2) deterring strategic attacks against the U.S., Allies and partners; (3) deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary; and (4) building a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem­. Emphasizing strong Navy partnerships, the 31st HSWG and Naval Oceanography’s support to the PN aligns with 2022 NDS priorities.    
“Additionally, we discussed PN’s modernization plan and the critical role its own Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Center has in supporting this plan,” said Brown.
Brown toured PN’s Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Center, hosted by Commanding Officer Capt. Peter Tolentino III, PN, where Brown presented Naval Oceanography’s overview brief, likewise receiving the PN Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Center brief.
“It is important that we sustain partnership engagements like these to support our navies’ larger missions by using our own operational skill-set and expertise…in this case all things meteorology and oceanography,” Brown said.
As a result of the 31st HSWG, Brown and Tolentino agreed to build on cooperative efforts between the U.S. Navy and PN to share information, enhance partnerships, and learn from best practices in oceanography, hydrography, and meteorology.
Naval Oceanography personnel from Fleet Survey Team (FST)—Lt. Nicole Dawn Mountain, Lt. Ricardo Uribe, Mr. Chandler Malley, Lt. j.g. Matthew Dullum, Aerographer’s Mate (AG) Second Class Steven Verhorn and AGAN Adrian Bentley—successfully executed a survey of the region’s own Subic Bay—in collaboration with the U.S. Underwater Construction Team and their PN counterparts.
Of note, FST’s survey of Subic Bay revealed three uncharted or misplaced ship wrecks, which were briefed to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, PN and Philippine National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) immediately following the survey.
HSWG was created under the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Board – Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB), established in 2006, and is executed under Naval Oceanography and NAMRIA with coordinating responsibility. Survey activities are conducted for safety of navigation, and to support naval assets participating in USN-PN exercises in the Philippine region.
U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 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 make better decisions, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.


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