Three new specialist Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit teams have been declared mission-ready following an intense assessment exercise in Queensland.
Deployable Geospatial Survey Teams 3 and 4 and Mobile Meteorological Team 3 from Navy’s Hydrographic, Meteorological & Oceanographic Group (HMGRP) were tested during a simulated humanitarian aid and disaster relief operation at HMAS Cairns, proving their readiness to deploy at short notice and work together to complete a complex survey in the field.
The teams measured atmospheric and hydrographic conditions using field survey kits on the waters and shores of Trinity Inlet and Chinaman Creek, in the real-world conditions of far north Queensland.
They were then able to deliver a detailed rapid environmental assessment to exercise evaluators from the Sea Training Group as well as the senior officers from HMGRP before they were certified as ready to deploy.
Commanding Officer of the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit, Commander Barbra Parker, said the teams performed exceptionally and represented a new capability for Navy.
“It is excellent to see the unit exhibiting what it is capable of,” Commander Parker said.
“Our region is subject to natural disasters and our people must be ready to deploy at short notice to assess coastal conditions to enable an effective maritime response.
“The activities that are required to complete a successful rapid environmental assessment are complex but vital to disaster response or in support of amphibious warfare, and all three teams have shown they can do it quickly and effectively,” she said.
The deployable teams recently received new survey and meteorological equipment under Project SEA1770, including portable weather radars, automatic weather stations and high altitude weather balloons.
Officer-in-charge of Survey Team 4, Lieutenant Jared Willans, said the new equipment and high quality training made the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit a key part of informing warfighting, humanitarian and disaster relief response and safe navigation.
“This is an exciting time to be a part of the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit as new survey instruments open up a whole new capability for deployable teams,” Lieutenant Willans said.
“We can now deploy with fly-away survey kits with portable multi-beam echo sounders, which dramatically increases the scope of what our deployable teams can achieve.
“We’re looking forward to deploying and supporting the wider warfare community,” he said.
Deployable Geospatial Survey Team 3 and Mobile Meteorological Team 1 have already deployed to support Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, with Deployable Geospatial Survey Team 1 making preparations to deploy to Antarctica later this year.