The US Navy established the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center (NOMWC), 26th October 2007, at Stennis Space Center (SSC) with Cmdr. Paul Oosterling as its first commanding officer. Rear Admiral. John Waickwicz, commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, was the guest speaker.
Oosterling is a native of Ontario (NY, USA), and a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Naval War College. He was the executive officer of the Naval Oceanography Operations Command before he was named NOMWC Commanding Officer.
NOMWC provides ongoing support for the Navy's mine warfare forces to neutralise threats and to allow for assured access of maritime assets. It also provides the Navy's mine warfare operators with access to products and services of the Naval Oceanographic Office, also located at SSC. Establishment of the center comes after a three-year revitalization of the Navy's operational oceanography program.
The center reports to the Naval Oceanography Operations Command, a subordinate of the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, both located at SSC.
The Naval Oceanography Operations Command, established in 2005, is focused on operational support to the Navy's warfighting and support disciplines - anti-submarine warfare; special warfare; mine warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and fleet operations (strike and expeditionary); navigation; precise time and astrometry; maritime and aviation. It is headed by Capt. Robert E. Kiser.
The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs the Navy's meteorology and oceanography programs and includes about 3,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel worldwide.