Foreign Attachés Visit Naval Oceanography
21 April 2023
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Naval Oceanography hosted representatives from 13 countries, who saw firsthand the capabilities and missions that our 2500 Sailors and Scientists perform around the world, April 20, 2023.
The visit provided an opportunity for the foreign attachés to tour our facilities and learn more about glider program, capabilities, and hear from our highly trained staff. In addition, we showcased the significant contributions that the Naval Oceanography community provides to our national defense and global security.
“I was amazed by the incredible capabilities of the Naval Oceanography community and the dedication of its staff.” said Captain David Varona, Director of USN Foreign Attaché Affairs. “Seeing firsthand the innovative technology and work being conducted was truly eye-opening. The other military attachés and myself gained a new appreciation for the important role that the Naval Oceanography plays in protecting our national security and collaborating with our allies and partners.”
The tour included briefings on oceanographic unmanned underwater vehicles, ocean modeling, and geospatial information systems. The briefings demonstrated how Naval Oceanography’s community uses leading-edge technology to collect and analyze data from the ocean, utilizing remote sensing, hydrographic surveying, and oceanographic forecasting.
The group of foreign attachés met and spoke with subject matter experts, including oceanographers, hydrographers, and mathematicians.
“The visit provided an invaluable opportunity to learn more about Naval Oceanography’s cutting-edge capabilities and the critical role it plays in protecting our oceans and ensuring global security.” said Commodore Darren Grogan, Australian Naval Attaché. “I am grateful for this experience and look forward to sharing the knowledge gained, and continuing to promote international cooperation in oceanographic data collection.”
The 13 countries that had representatives at the tour were Denmark, Australia, Great Britain, Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Chile, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Finland, and New Zealand. Each country has a unique perspective and interest in the work that Naval Oceanography does, and it was fascinating to hear their questions and feedback.
The visit provided a chance for the foreign attachés to see the leading-edge capabilities of the Naval Oceanography community and learn more about the critical missions we perform. It also demonstrated the value and importance of international cooperation in oceanographic data collection, which is essential for the future of our planet and the security of our nations.
"As a member of the Naval Oceanography community, it was an absolute pleasure to host the foreign attachés and showcase our facilities and capabilities.” said Commander Jonathan Savage, Assistant Chief of Staff for International Programs (N5). “The visit provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate the critical role that Naval Oceanography plays in our national defense and global security. It was a great experience, and we hope to continue building strong relationships with our international partners in the years to come."
U.S. Military Attachés play an important role in U.S. government partnerships and interactions with allies and other governments around the world. Drawing from their military experience, attachés serve as military advisors to U.S. ambassadors, provide military-political situational awareness within a country or region, support U.S. military theater security cooperation, and represent the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. military service abroad.
Naval Oceanography has approximately 2,500 globally distributed military and civilian personnel, who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to guarantee the U.S. Navy’s freedom of action in the physical battlespace from the depths of the ocean to the stars.
About Foreign Attachés:
A foreign attaché is a government official stationed in a foreign country to represent country's interests and gather information on behalf of their government. The attaché is typically a member of the country's diplomatic corps, and may be assigned to an embassy or consulate in the foreign country.
The role of a foreign attaché is critical in facilitating communication and understanding between countries and promoting cooperation and collaboration on a wide range of issues. They play a vital role in advancing their country's interests abroad and promoting international relations and diplomacy.