NAPLES, Italy -- Meteorologists from across the Alliance gathered at Allied Joint Force Command Naples, June 12-16, for the first NATO Response Force Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Seminar aimed at promoting a broader understanding of the NRF within the METOC community.
The seminar provided an opportunity to discuss recent innovations and developments within the branch. The inaugural NRF METOC seminar provided dedicated training for METOC experts and augmentees assigned to the NRF at the operational and tactical levels and focused on optimizing METOC support to upcoming exercises.
Seminar organizers said weather has a profound effect on military operations and, in particular, at the operational level, or the planning process that surrounds the formulation of an NRF operation or exercise. The Netherlands currently is the lead nation to provide dedicated meteorological support, data, and products to the NRF, and that responsibility will soon rest with Canada next year. The recent seminar provided an opportunity for representatives from both nations to meet in person and discuss the NRF and how METOC support plays such an integral part.
"Not all seminars that one attends manage to meet expectations,” said Christopher Murphy, respresenting the Joint Meteorological Centre in New Brunswick, Canada. "However, my visit to JFC HQ Naples exceeded mine. I was imparted a vast amount of useful knowledge and information. I would recommend to anyone having the chance to visit JFC Naples to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Seminar attendees were welcomed by U.S. Air Force Col. Margaret Romero, deputy director of JFC Naples Joint Operation Center. The event was hosted by the METOC section head, Italian Air Force Lt. Col. Luigi Verzelletti, and his team at JFC Naples.
Eighteen representatives from the various elements of the Alliance, partner organizations, and national meteorological services attended the seminar. Attendees gathered at JFC Naples from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, Joint Force Command Brunssum in the Netherlands, the Joint Warfare Centre in Norway, Land Command in Turkey, Air Command in Germany, the European Corps in Strasbourg, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Belgian Meteo Wing, and the Italian Air Force with others coming from as far afield as Hungary and Canada to attend the seminar. A METOC specialist representing the Commander of French Maritime Forces (COMFRMARFOR) in Toulon also attended.
Additionally, two representatives from the Italian Air Force travelled down from Rome to share their expertise as Italy has held previous tenure as the NRF Lead Nation under the Integrated METOC (IMETOC) concept.
The METOC team at JFC HQ Naples produces daily weather forecasts for the command team focusing on current exercises and current operations such as Operation Sea Guardian and the Kosovo Force and the impact that the weather is having in the land, air, and maritime operational environments.
Story by JFC Naples METOC