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NOAA, Navy Partner to Expand Unmanned Maritime Tech R&D Efforts; Rear. Adm. John Okon Quoted

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The U.S. Navy has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to accelerate research into unmanned maritime systems that will be used for government, private and academic applications.

NOAA said Tuesday that the agreement is aimed at expanding research and development activities involving unmanned platforms in coastal and ocean waters to support the data gathering efforts of both the agency and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC).

Work under the partnership will be used to inform R&D programs in topic areas such as hurricane prediction, weather forecasting, climate analysis, environmental protection and marine resource sustainability. Research activities will additionally support NMOC's studies on the ocean’s physical environment for a range of Navy missions, according to NOAA.

“This agreement lays the foundation for collaboration, engagement, and coordination between NOAA and the U.S. Navy that our nation has never seen before,” said Rear. Adm. John Okon, commander of NMOC. “It will help us take advantage of each other’s strengths to advance each of our strategic and operational mission priorities.”

The agreement builds on the White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Science and Technology in 2019 as well as the Commercial Engagement Through Ocean Technology Act of 2018.

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