According to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis in the unclassified 2018 National Defense Strategy, “We must anticipate the implications of new technologies on the battlefield.”
Pairing Navy research scientists and engineers with military personnel and their training exercises can be critical when identifying strengths, weaknesses and other opportunities before real-time operations.
“During exercises, not only can we showcase NRL involvement in the development of critical technologies, but we can also learn first-hand where we can improve,” said Dr. Todd Holland, head of the NRL-SSC Marine Geosciences Division. “The things you discover getting your hands and feet wet with the Sailors you support cannot be adequately captured from discussion of a PowerPoint slide.”
Recently, Holland and his team participated in the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX-2018) in the Gulf of Mexico.
Typically hosted by Naval Undersea Warfare Center, ANTX is a specialized exercise that features future Naval technologies that are still under development, with this year’s focus on unmanned underwater, aerial and surface systems.
NRL oceanographer Dr. Meg Palmsten also participated in ANTX-2018, working with Sailors training on completed and developing unmanned systems that collect vital environmental data where military operations will take place.
“Feedback from Sailors on the tools we are developing is important,” said Palmsten. “Interactions at exercises like ANTX help me adapt my research questions to better meet their needs.”