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Oceanographer of the Navy Testifies on Capitol Hill Regarding Arctic Operations

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS151118-14
Release Date: 11/18/2015 2:56:00 PM

By Brian Leshak, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Oceanographer of the Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet testified regarding Navy Arctic operations to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' (HCFA) Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats and the HCFA Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Nov. 17, in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Gallaudet, who testified alongside the State Department's Special Representative for the Arctic Adm. Robert Papp and Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel, was called in his role as director of the Navy's Task Force Climate Change (TFCC) and commander, Meteorology and Oceanography Command to discuss how the Arctic is changing and what the Navy's plans are for the ever-evolving region.

'As a global force, the U.S. Navy must be ready to operate in all the world's oceans, including the Arctic, as we have done for many decades,' said Gallaudet. 'The Arctic is a major driver of global climate and weather. The diminishing sea ice is gradually opening the region to the potential for increased economic activity including commercial shipping, fishing, oil and mineral extraction, and tourism. These changes will necessitate more accurate, long range forecasts to ensure safe transit in the region.'

TFCC was created in 2009 by the Chief of Naval Operations to address naval implications of the changing Arctic and global environment. In addition, TFCC's mission is to make recommendations to Navy leadership regarding policy, investment, research and to lead public discussion on the Arctic region.

'The Navy will continue to sponsor research through the Office of Naval Research focusing research initiatives to include environmental dynamics, acoustic propagation, sea state and boundary layer physics, and ocean stratification and technologies,' said Gallaudet. 'Improving our understanding of the complex polar environment, and more accurately predicting the dynamic ice-ocean atmosphere dynamics is essential to safe navigation and my primary responsibility as oceanographer and navigator of the Navy.'

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