U.S. Celebrates 35 Years of Hydrographic Cooperation with Oman

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

Manama, Bahrain (November 9, 2015) – A reception recognizing 35 years of cooperation in hydrographic surveying took place aboard the Pathfinder-class oceanographic survey ship USNS Bruce C. Heezen (T AGS 64) in Muscat, Oman, on Nov. 9.

Hosted by U.S. Ambassador Greta C. Holtz and U.S. Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Rear Admiral Timothy C. Gallaudet, the event aboard Heezen recognized the bilateral coordination on hydrographic surveys, oceanography and naval cooperation between the United States and Oman.

Several prominent Omani, U.K., U.S. and regional dignitaries, including the Omani Minister of Defense, H.E. Badr bin Saud al Busaidi, attended the event.

Personnel from the embarked Naval Oceanographic Office Detachment conducted tours for the guests, including demonstrations of the hydrographic and oceanographic equipment on board.

“This visit is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our mutually beneficial cooperation with Oman,” Gallaudet said. “Through an exchange of ideas and techniques, we promote understanding, strengthen communication and improve our capabilities, which leads to greater safety at sea.”

Since 1980, U.S. naval oceanographic ships and Royal Navy of Oman survey vessels have conducted more than a dozen hydrographic surveys. These surveys have enhanced safe navigation by precisely measuring water depths and pinpointing locations of sunken craft and other underwater obstructions.

Last year, the Royal Navy of Oman and the U.S. Navy completed a hydrographic survey of previously unmapped coastal regions.

Bruce C. Heezen is one of five oceanographic survey ships operated by the Military Sealift Command for Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (COMNAVMETOCCOM). The 329-ft. ship conducts operational oceanographic and hydrographic surveys for the Navy throughout the world.

COMNAVMETOCCOM directs and oversees the collection, processing and exploitation of accurate, relevant and timely oceanographic, meteorological, hydrographic, precise time and astrometric information. COMNAVMETOCCOM was recently assigned as CTG 80.7 and is part of the Information Dominance Corps. As such, the command is the Navy’s physical maritime battlespace authority.

U.S. Naval Force Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Sea of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean and 20 countries.