By Alvin Plexico
Navy Office of Community Outreach
GULFPORT, Miss. —Danielle Carpenter, a native of Pennsauken, New Jersey, is one of the many civilians of Naval Oceanography ensuring the U.S. Navy maintains freedom from the ocean floor to the stars at the Naval Oceanographic Office.
Sailors and civilians working throughout Naval Oceanography collect, measure, and analyze the elements of the physical environment (land, sea, air, space). They synthesize a vast array of oceanographic and meteorological data to produce forecasts and warnings in support of safety of flight and navigation.
Carpenter, a 2000 Paul VI High School graduate, currently serves as a physical scientist at the Naval Oceanographic Office, headquartered at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
“Naval Oceanography operates simultaneously at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of warfare in every theater around the globe,” said Rear Adm. Ron Piret, commanding officer, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “We pride ourselves in our ability to characterize the battle space and then predict changes in the environment over time. Every ship that sails, every aircraft that takes flight, every submarine that dives beneath the surface of the ocean has to go to sea with the information that Naval Oceanography provides.”
According to Carpenter, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Pennsauken.
“Pennsauken is a very blue-collar, working-class town, so I learned how rewarding hard work can be,” said Carpenter. “I also learned how important it is to value tradition. This is important in a group as small as one’s family and hometown up to an organization as large as the Navy and United States.”
Naval Oceanography personnel demonstrate expertise in Hydrography, Geospatial Information and Services (GIS), datum issues, and Tactical Decision Aids (TDA). They combine knowledge of the operating environment with a thorough understanding of warfighting capabilities to assess and predict environmental impacts to friendly and enemy platforms, sensors and weapon systems.
Serving in the Navy means Carpenter is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The United States is a maritime nation and has the ability to go places other armed forces cannot,” said Carpenter. “The Navy has the ability to cover the seas and the air and the space in between, which makes it tactically able to assist other armed forces in times of peace and conflict, while being minimally disruptive.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
Carpenter and the sailors and civilians they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their service.
“I’m very proud of the contributions I make to the Navy mission,” said Carpenter. “I know the work I do allows sailors and civilians to traverse the seas safely, and if that allows them all to come home to their families, then I know I’ve done my job.”
As Carpenter and other sailors and civilians continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in keeping fellow sailors and civilians safe and serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving as a civilian in the Navy means carrying on my family legacy,” added Carpenter. “My father, grandfather, great uncle, and cousin all served in the Navy, and to be able to continue that tradition means a lot to me.”
Naval Oceanography directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process, and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.