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Industry News


NOAA’s flagship research vessel returns home after eight months at sea

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) largest oceanographic research vessel, NOAA Ship Ronald H Brown, docked at its home port in Charleston, South Carolina, on October 22, 2018, after a 243-day voyage around the world to conduct scientific research and service buoys that inform global weather, climate and ocean forecasting.

The ship sailed nearly 44,289 miles, made port calls in South Africa, the Seychelles, India, Australia and Hawaii, and opened its decks to international partner scientists and school children.

Craig McLean, assistant NOAA administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, said, “Working across the global ocean, the ship, her crew and our scientists are helping expand our understanding of the ocean’s profound effects on weather, climate, fisheries and our economy.”

A highpoint was the ship’s arrival in Goa, India, in June 2018, to take part in a major USA-India science colloquium that brought together 20 US scientists and 200 Indian scientists to advance ocean observations used to improve climate, weather and fisheries prediction.

The meeting in India came after the Brown’s historic oceanographic cruise through the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, a rarely studied region that the USA last surveyed 23 years ago.

During the mission, the crew also deployed, serviced and recovered more than 80 buoys that monitor ocean and weather conditions in the tropical ocean, including the weather maker, El Niño, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a phenomenon that begins in the Indian Ocean and influences US heat waves and flooding.

“The dedication, commitment and collective efforts of NOAA Ship Ronald H Brown’s officers, crew and scientists have proved invaluable to supporting NOAA and the nation,” said Rear Admiral Michael J Silah, director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. “I commend them for their exemplary service and many accomplishments during this extended deployment.”

The 274ft ship is a global-class oceanographic and atmospheric research platform operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes civilians and NOAA Corps officers. As many as 60 officers, crew and scientists were on the ship at once.

- November 2018

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