The White Falcon

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The White Falcon - 05.12.1980, Blaðsíða 4

The White Falcon - 05.12.1980, Blaðsíða 4
4 White Falcon December 5, 1980 NOCD: They do more than forecast the weather "Keflavik's weather will be cold with occasional snow flurries..." We all listen to the nightly news and the weather forecast, and we all know the Naval Oceanography Command Detachment (NOCD) is responsible for providing Navy Broadcasting with weather forecasts and for keeping Channel 2, the weather channel, up to date. But is this all NOCD does? Not by a long shot. According to Com- mander Robert Plante, Commanding Officer of NOCD, "Our primary func- tion is to supply meteorlogical data, primarily aviation weather support, to squadrons here at Keflavik. "In addition to that we have a lot of other functions. One of those functions, of course, is to provide weather for the NATO Base population." CDR Plante stresses, however, that there are many other functions NOCD is involved with. Take, for instance, NOCD's very active program with the Icelandic Marine Research Institute. "This program consists of a series of survey ships," CDR Plante explained. "We provide them in- strumentation, and they take the oceanographic readings. We can then utilize those in getting a better understanding of the ocean currents and the ocean structures which are exceedingly complex in this part of the world," he stated. Weather balloons NOCD is also involved in work of international interest. Twice daily the detachment releases helium-filled weather balloons, gathering temperature, humidity and wind data aloft at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. As CDR Plante put it, "This pro- gram is in support not only of aviation interests here, but of international aviation interests. We're one of the key observing points in the Atlantic." Ice watch The oceanography command also plays a major role in the Ice Recon- naissance Program conducted each summer between March and August. Utilizing aircraft from the VP squadron, NOCD flies over the waters in this area and the waters sur- rounding Greenland. During the summer months, the ice edge in this area breaks up, and it is NOCD's job to take accurate readings when this occurs; supply ships going to Sondrestrom Air Base and Thule, Greenland, depend on this information. "We try to fly so that we have the moat current data, so we fly just prior to a ship moving up into those waters," CDR Plante said. "It will be the best available in- formation for the ice edge, because it does shift, it does move, and we want to provide the ship's navigator with the best information on where to navigate and where to stay out of," he concluded. Winter forecast The Naval Oceanography Command Detachment is in many other pro- grams, but because CDR Plante is "the weatherman" in the eyes of base personnel, he offered this sneak-preview forecast for the win- ter of 1980. With a gleam in his eye, the commander said, "We have to pay for the nice summer we had." AG3 Rodney Bjelf draws a weather map

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The White Falcon

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