Using ocean models for safety and mission success in an operational environment: a Navy perspective

Ms Joanne Haynes1

1Royal Australian Navy, Canberra, Australia

Understanding and exploiting the environment above, at, and below the ocean surface is key to ensuring the best possible employment of Defence capability in order to protect Australia’s national interests. In the Navy context, ocean models play a key role in ensuring the safety of our assets and personnel at sea, as well as equipping the war-fighter with sufficient information to gain tactical advantage in an operationally uncertain environment. This brief will focus on the role of operational oceanography in the provision of forecasting products to the Under Sea Warfare (USW) community in order to ensure safety at sea and achieve mission success. The ocean forecasting tools and models in use by the Navy have been developed as part of the Bluelink Ocean Forecasting Project (a RAN/BoM/CSIRO collaboration) and include: the global scale Ocean Forecasting Australia Model (OFAM), and the regional scale Relocatable Ocean Atmosphere Model (ROAM) and Australian Defence Environmental Prediction Tool (ADEPT). Although they are unlikely to be operating in a contested space, marine industries face a number of similar operational challenges to the Navy due to uncertainties in the ocean environment. Opportunities may exist for better collaboration between marine industries, Defence and the other Bluelink partners. These could include the collection and sharing of ocean observations for model verification and re-analysis purposes, and the identification and analysis of oceanic events which are often difficult to forecast (for example, internal waves) in order to ensure the ongoing usefulness and reliability of operational ocean models well into the future.

Commander Jo Haynes joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1998 and is a Maritime Geospatial Officer – Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) specialist. She holds a number of tertiary qualifications including a Master of Science in Physical Oceanography and a Master of Military and Defence Studies. Commander Haynes has completed a variety of sea and shore postings and has a breadth of experience in roles within Navy and the Joint space, including operational deployments to the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Antarctica. Commander Haynes assumed her current position as the SO1 METOC Undersea Warfare at the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation in January 2019

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