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Meteorological and Oceanographic Operations: 24 September 2008

Paperback - 08 March 2013
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Joint meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) operations are critical to a commander's awareness of the operational environment and his ability to exploit that awareness to gain an advantage across the range of military operations. METOC forces must work cooperatively within the Department of Defense (DOD) community and across interagency and multinational lines and boundaries to share and obtain information to provide timely, accurate, relevant, and consistent METOC support to the joint force commander (JFC). METOC is a term used to convey all meteorological, oceanographic, and space environmental factors as provided by the Services, support agencies, and other sources. The principles of accuracy, consistency, relevancy, and timeliness are the cornerstone of joint METOC operations. Joint METOC operations focus on two primary functions: characterization of the environment and exploitation of environmental information to gain an operational advantage by integrating this information into the commander's decision-making cycle and command and control systems. By applying the principles of accuracy, consistency, relevancy, and timeliness, METOC forces are better prepared to support planning and decision making. When characterizing the environment, the principles of accuracy and consistency are paramount to collection, analysis, and prediction processes. The guiding principles of relevancy and timeliness are critical in tailoring and integrating METOC products for the commander. METOC operations depend on continuous characterization of the environment. METOC data are collected and then analyzed to develop a coherent depiction of the natural environment, which is used to provide operational battlespace awareness and to predict the future state of the natural environment. The combatant commander (CCDR) is ultimately responsible for the direction of METOC assets within their area of responsibility. The JFC should direct and coordinate the activities of the METOC assets under the JFC's operational control to ensure unity of effort. Each CCDR should designate a senior METOC officer (SMO) to coordinate all METOC operations within the area of responsibility or functional responsibility. During joint operation planning, METOC support includes integrating global, regional, and locally produced METOC products as well as data and products received from supporting agencies and reliable indigenous sources. The SMO incorporates this assessment into a comprehensive METOC support normally begins well prior to force deployment and often ends after redeployment of the joint force is complete. METOC forces, databases, products, and equipment must be responsive to the requirements of the JFC and should be maintained to a degree of readiness that ensures immediate employment capability. The JMCC is the cornerstone of METOC operations support. Under the JMO's guidance, the JMCC combines multiple source METOC information with operational information to generate the joint operations area forecast (JOAF). The JOAF is the official baseline forecast for operational planning and mission execution within the joint operations area. This publication sets forth the joint doctrine for the planning and execution of meteorological and oceanographic operations in support of joint operations throughout the range of military operations.

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