Page 26: of Marine Technology Magazine (October 2020)

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Ocean Observation U.S. Navy’s RDML John Okon

How and when you realized protection of our Constitution. 25 years percent of global trade occurring on the that yours would be a career later ... here I am. Maritime Commons, and over 90% of dedicated to Oceanography? intercontinental communication travel-

Interesting, I never started out to have ing on undersea cables. The Ocean mat-

Using the start of your career a career in Oceanography, but rather in ters more now than ever before. to today as bookends, put in

Broadcast Meteorology. At NY Mari- perspective how the importance/ time College, I studied both Meteorol- focus of “Ocean Issues” has Using that same time frame, put ogy and Oceanography and became changed the most. in perspective the evolution of equally passionate about Oceanography. The Ocean is critical to National and unmanned maritime systems as

Thanks to the US Navy, we have a ca- Global Security. Back in the early 90’s you see it. reer ? eld in both. As a young Of? cer I the ocean wasn’t contested, the US was Over the past two decades, the Navy’s didn’t realize Naval Oceanography ex- the most powerful Navy and we had employment of unmanned systems isted, but one day I had the pleasure to freedom of movement, anytime, any- (UxS) has experienced tremendous welcome aboard USS TICONDERO- where. Now, while we are still the most growth and Naval Oceanography re-

GA, AGC Benner and AG1 Skala as a powerful Navy in the world, near peer mains at the forefront in development

Mobile Environmental Team. From that competitors are racing to close that gap. and operations of the vehicles. Naval day forward I found a ? eld and group of The ocean and undersea domain is cen- Oceanography helped lay the ground-

Sailors and Civilians that were passion- ter stage. With 70 percent of the world work for programs such as the MK18 ate and dedicated to the sciences and populations living near the ocean, 90 family of systems. In fact, Naval Ocean-

Photo: U.S. Navy 26 October 2020

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