STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- This month, Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet visited the U.S Naval Forces Central Command/Commander U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) for events marking cooperative efforts in naval hydrography and oceanography.
On Nov. 9, Gallaudet co-hosted a reception with U.S. Ambassador to Oman Greta C. Holtz aboard the oceanographic survey ship USNS Bruce C. Heezen (T AGS 64) in Muscat, Oman, to commemorate 35 years of cooperative hydrographic efforts with Oman.
Personnel from the embarked Naval Oceanographic Office Detachment conducted tours for the guests, including demonstrations of the hydrographic and oceanographic equipment on board.
Since 1980, U.S. naval oceanographic ships and Royal Navy of Oman survey vessels have conducted more than a dozen hydrographic surveys. These surveys have enhanced safe navigation by precisely measuring water depths and pinpointing locations of sunken craft and other underwater obstructions.
In 2014, the Royal Navy of Oman and the U.S. Navy completed a hydrographic survey of previously unmapped coastal regions.
"Through an exchange of ideas and techniques, we promote understanding, strengthen communication, and improve our capabilities, which leads to greater safety at sea, and helps build a global network of navies," Gallaudet said.
Later in the week, he traveled to Bahrain for discussions regarding the existing cooperative survey agreement with that nation.
He also visited with Rear Adm. Eugene H. Black, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the C5F staff, and Sailors deployed with Commander Task Group (CTG) 56.1's Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) Platoon.
The platoon, staffed by Sailors from the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center and the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, became permanently deployed to the U.S Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in September 2014. The task group uses unmanned underwater vehicles and analyzes the data gathered from them, as well as any other sonar data collected in the area, to keep harbors and waterways cleared of mines.
Unmanned systems play a critical role in collecting data that directly supports anti-submarine, mine, amphibious, strike, special and expeditionary warfare. According to Gallaudet, the technology is perfectly suited for other "dull, dirty, dangerous" missions and provides a flexible and cost-effective solution to a variety of warfighting challenges.
The task group provides a quick-response capability that can move anywhere in the AOR quickly. Their permanent presence ensures the mine warfare assets will be in place before a crisis erupts.
"Efforts such as this assure all domain access - beginning in peacetime - with the ability to project force and operate effectively in keeping with the new U.S. maritime strategy," Gallaudet said.
"We don't move without your information," said Capt. Andy Arnold, deputy commodore at Commander, Task Force-55/Destroyer Squadron 50.
COMNAVMETOCCOM directs and oversees the collection, processing and exploitation of accurate, relevant and timely oceanographic, meteorological, hydrographic, precise time and astrometric information.
Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command was recently assigned as Commander, Task Group 80.7, and is part of the information dominance corps. As such, the command is the Navy's physical maritime battle space authority.
US Naval Force Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for 2.5 million square miles of area, including the Arabian Gulf, Sea of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean, and 20 countries.
For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnmoc/.