Navy Establishes Fleet Weather Center in San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) - The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) will establish Fleet Weather Center San Diego (FWC-SD) Nov. 5, relocating all maritime and aviation services to San Diego, and consolidating all weather services provided across the 3rd, 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility.
Through a phased approach, services for these areas will be completed by September 2011.
The Navy is consolidating weather services for the Pacific and Indian oceans and Arabian Gulf region in San Diego in an effort to streamline operations, gain manpower efficiencies and establish a larger footprint in a fleet concentration area while maintaining the quality of service.
"Relocating and consolidating our weather support activities into the major west coast fleet concentration area will enhance our focus on fleet safety, while improving our collaboration and alignment with operational support requirements," said Rear Adm. Jonathan White, NMOC commander.
The Fleet Weather Center stand up is the second part of a two-prong consolidation of Navy weather services worldwide. Fleet Weather Center Norfolk, Va., established Oct. 29, is the home of Navy weather forecasting for the 2nd, 4th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
FWC-SD, located aboard Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI), will bring together three separate commands under one roof – Strike Group Oceanography Team San Diego; Naval Maritime Forecast Center (NMFC), previously located in Pearl Harbor; and Naval Aviation Forecasting Detachment (NAFD) San Diego. The command will remain in the building that has been the San Diego home of Navy meteorology and oceanography since 1994.
Forecasters and observers of the Strike Group Oceanography Team deploy with aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, providing on-scene maritime forecasting as well as strike and safety of flight forecasts for the embarked air wings.
NMFC held responsibility for general maritime forecasting in the Pacific and for routing ships around hazardous weather. NAFD provided forecast weather for flight operations throughout the western United States and the eastern half of the Pacific.
"We are honored and humbled by the trust that has been placed in us by the Naval Oceanography enterprise and by the responsibility we have to fleet safety and mission success," said Capt. Todd Monroe, FWC-SD prospective commanding officer.
While the new Fleet Weather Center in San Diego will be the primary base for all Pacific weather forecasting, weather offices will be located in other parts of the Pacific region. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), also which the Navy has operated in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force since 1945, will remain in Pearl Harbor. JTWC is the Department of Defense agency responsible for issuing tropical cyclone warnings for the Pacific and Indian oceans.
FWC-SD will operate other remote detachments and components at key locations in Pearl Harbor; Bahrain; Atsugi, Japan; and Fallon, Nev. NAFD Pearl Harbor will provide joint aviation services in Hawaii with the Air Force, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam. The NAFD partnership with the Air Force is similar to one that has been in place at Sembach, Germany, since 2007.
Fleet Weather Center San Diego is the ninth name change for the Navy weather operation in San Diego since Navy meteorology was established there in 1944.
"The change to the new center will be seamless to operational commanders," White said. "We will continue to ensure safety at sea and enable decision superiority for our forces and allies with forecasts, analysis and recommendations."
NMOC directs the Navy's meteorology and oceanography programs, maintains the Navy's atomic clock for precise time and tracks the positions of the stars for navigation. The command is comprised of approximately 2,500 officer, enlisted and civilian personnel stationed around the world.
Naval Oceanography enables the safety, speed and operational effectiveness of the fleet by illuminating the risks and opportunities for naval and joint forces posed by the present and future natural environment. The Naval Oceanography Operations Command, parent command of Fleet Weather Center San Diego, is NMOC's operational arm.
For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnmoc/.