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Air, sea METOC leaders converge to talk cooperation

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Members of Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanographic Center and Fleet Weather Center are meeting with 557th Weather Wing. The group photo will commemorate their visit and be distributed between the Air Force and Navy.

Air Force and Navy Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) leaders from around the world recently converged on Offutt Air Force Base for a series of meetings to chart a course forward on cooperation.

Commanders and senior enlisted leaders representing three Navy METOC centers, two AF operations groups and six weather squadrons participated in the 2-day event hosted by the 557th Weather Wing.

The Navy and Air Force have distinctive environmental capabilities that support worldwide Department of Defense operations. The joint METOC capability ensures environmental information advantage for commanders at every echelon.

“Only by working together do our organizations present a superior capability to our respective services and jointly to the combatant commanders,” said Col. Bradley Stebbins, 557th Weather Wing commander. “Combining our diverse capabilities through partnership creates significant warfighter advantage.”

Examples of the strong partnership include the Navy’s two Fleet Weather Center aviation detachments stationed with weather wing squadrons in overseas combatant commands. Navy Aerographer’s Mates have fully integrated their operations with the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Kapaun Air Station, Germany, and the 17th Operational Weather Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Additionally, the 17th OWS has an embedded flight of Airmen conducting meteorological satellite operations in the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, also at JBPHH.

“It’s imperative that we share information across services, and we operate together to provide the best solutions possible to our Sailors and Airmen,” said Navy Capt. Erin Acosta, commanding officer, Fleet Weather Center Norfolk. “Our Sailors and Airmen require this information for safety of flight and navigation as well as safety in operations. Partnership with the Air Force is essential to mission success.”

The meetings were an opportunity to identify additional areas of cooperation and demonstrate the leaders’ commitment to moving forward together in fulfillment of joint force objectives.

“Navy METOC brings so much capability to bear, especially in the maritime and undersea domains,” Stebbins said. “As the son of a naval aviator, I greatly appreciate our shared expertise and teamwork.”

Both the Navy and Air Force exploit advanced environmental modeling capabilities in direct support to all 11 combatant commanders.

“FNMOC provides global atmospheric, oceanographic and ice numerical model data to support the Navy and joint force,” said Navy Capt. Christi Montgomery, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) commanding officer. “The 557th Weather Wing also has robust environmental modeling capability to include advanced experience in DoD cloud implementation. If our organizations can find complementary ways to work together, we will be able to provide the best information possible in support of the global DoD mission. I’m extremely impressed by the talent and exceptional dedication of the team at the 557th and the 1st and 2nd Weather Groups. I look forward to the next collaboration opportunity.”

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