U.S. Navy Task Force Ocean

Task Force Ocean (TFO) was established in March 2017 to advance Navy-relevant ocean science through strengthened partnerships with academia and the private sector.

The Task Force is directed by Oceanographer of the Navy Rear Adm. John Okon, in close coordination with Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby. An executive steering committee includes leadership from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Pacific Fleet, U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, Undersea Warfighting Development Center, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and the U.S Coast Guard.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is seeking input on a planned Task Force Ocean (TFO) Department Research Initiative (DRI) that is expected to run from FY21-FY24. Research funded under this effort will result in new sensing, modeling and prediction techniques that will enhance our scientific understanding of a complex but coupled environment. The primary focus of the TFO DRI will be focused on a specific 100 km x 100 km area of the ocean that will be closely studied and extremely well characterized, particularly during periodic at sea measurement epochs.

Near Term Efforts

Restart ONR’s Tactical Oceanography Symposia. These events will address large operational and scientific challenges for the Navy and discuss ways our academic and operational partners can assist with targeted research efforts.

  • First symposium, "Oceanography, Big Data, and Opportunities in Naval Warfare," was held October 17-19 in San Diego and co-hosted by the Navy's Undersea Warfare Development Command.
  • Second symposium, “Environmental Support for Theater ASW,” was held June 4-6 at the Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, and co-hosted by the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.
  • Third symposium: "Distributed Systems in Undersea Warfare - Their Environmental Support Needs and Opportunities They Offer for Environmental Assessment," was held November 13-15 in Chantilly, Virginia.

Enhance ONR’s Scientists to Sea program. This program offers research partners an opportunity to experience first-hand how sailors use tactical oceanographic information. These opportunities will include:

  • Submarines
  • Submarine training facilities
  • Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) watch floors
  • Naval Oceanography Operational Centers
  • Undersea Warfighting Development Centers

Fund targeted research.

ONR awarded funding for 38 research projects proposed in response to the FY19 TFO Special Notice, including 18 academic institutions, 4 UARCs/FFRDCs, 4 Navy labs/centers and 3 industry partners, as well as including funding for 34 graduate students and 19 post docs.

Issue Navy Grand Challenges.Issue Navy Grand Challenges for specific naval challenges.

Contact Us

Please contact us via email: taskforceocean.fct@navy.mil

Desired Outcomes

  • Advance Navy-relevant ocean science in the U.S.
  • Energize partnerships between the Navy, academia and the private sector
  • Grow the Navy’s ocean science talent pool

Completed Focus Area Workshops

Enhanced sensing and observations of the ocean environment

Understanding, Modeling and Prediction

Naval Applications and Decision Aids

  • Distribution of this workshop report is authorized to U.S. Government Agencies and their contractors (Distribution C). Authorized individuals can request a copy via: taskforceocean.fct@navy.mil

Human Capital and Technical Workforce

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