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Navy tests new meteorological equipment

Lieutenant Matthew Bell records readings from the automatic weather station during Exercise Sparrow at HMAS Penguin. Photo Able Seaman Daniel Goodman

Personnel have undertaken a training exercise to test newly acquired deployable meteorological equipment.

Personnel have undertaken a training exercise to test newly acquired deployable meteorological equipment.

The Royal Australian Navy’s Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit (MGWU) has tested deployable meteorological equipment recently brought into service, as part of Exercise Sparrow.  

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The exercise, which took place on 8 April in a field adjacent to HMAS Penguin in Sydney, was led by Lieutenant Matthew Bell, a member of the unit’s Mobile Meteorology and Oceanography Team Two.

The aim of the exercise was to test and familiarise personnel with the components and capabilities of the equipment, used to conduct rapid environmental assessments during Defence exercises and operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and amphibious operations. 

“The ability to collect in-situ meteorological data in these scenarios significantly enhances our awareness of the battlespace,” MGWU Commanding Officer Commander Jo Haynes said.

“Geospatial information is a key enabler to providing a comprehensive and superior understanding of the operating environment to inform command decision-making.” 

Several branches of the unit’s team were involved in the exercise, including logistics, communications and engineering elements.

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As part of the exercise, a remote aviation forecasting centre was set up, comprising of an automatic weather station, an upper air sounding system to launch weather balloons, and a portable weather radar.

“Exercise Sparrow was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capability we can provide with meteorological aviation support to defence operations,” LEUT Bell said.

[Related: HMAS Sydney conducts live fire exercise with USS John Finn]

Navy tests new meteorological equipment
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