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    NAVFAC Southeast CERT joins forces with USACE ERDC

    NAVFAC Southeast CERT joins forces with USACE ERDC

    Photo By Jeffrey Hamlin | Members from the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast’s...... read more read more



    Story by Susan Brink 

    Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southeast

    On April 21, members from the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast’s Contingency Engineering Response Team (CERT) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering Research Development Center (ERDC) participated in a joint exercise utilizing a multi-rotor Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida.

    The collaboration took place during the annual Hurricane Exercise (HURREX) and Citadel Gale (CG) that allowed the teams to practice surveying simulated storm damage with the UAS on a few of the installation’s facilities.

    “This was an excellent opportunity to learn and network with USACE ERDC team,” said Joshua Coates, geographer and Geographic Information System (GIS) Project Manager. “Conducting the exercise together gave both entities confidence in our abilities to deploy and conduct UAS operations together in the future.”

    Coates is part of NAVFAC Southeast’s GeoReadiness Center (GRC) that is responsible for operating the command’s UAS program.

    The CERT is a specialized team that deploys to installations within the southeast region affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes. The team is comprised of NAVFAC Southeast volunteers, each with their own specific skillsets to include active duty civil engineer corps officers, civilian engineers, architects, project managers, facilities managers, contract specialists and geographers.

    The CERT’s mission is to perform damage assessments on an affected installation’s facilities in order to bring the base back to full mission capable status as soon as possible.

    One of the tools the CERT uses to perform damage assessments is the UAS which allows for detailed building inspections utilizing high resolution photos and video. This allows the GRC team to reach areas that are inaccessible and also keeps the CERT safe from structurally compromised roofs.

    In order to remain proficient, the CERT utilized this opportunity to hone their skills and compare operational procedures with USACE ERDC.

    “Overall, I think the operations went really well,” said Coates. “We definitely learned from each other and our team took away some pointers that will certainly help our program moving forward.”

    USACE ERDC shared their preflight planning, specifically regarding ground control points, and how to best set up control points in order to have optimal results for high accuracy orthorectifying imagery, which is a process of converting images into a form suitable for maps by removing sensor motion and terrain related geometric distortions from raw imagery.

    Coates stated, “They also had tremendous technical expertise that they were able to share with us regarding the sensors and flight characteristics of the new Anafi-GOV UAS that will provide NAVFAC Southeast with the knowledge we need to best operate and execute our UAS missions.”

    NAVFAC Southeast’s GRC is in the processing of upgrading their UAS equipment and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the 2022 hurricane season.

    Building relationships through this exercise will enhance both parties capabilities, especially during emergency response efforts. NAVFAC Southeast's CERT may request support from USACE in the event of a hurricane response until new equipment can be obtained.



    Date Taken: 05.02.2022
    Date Posted: 05.04.2022 09:41
    Story ID: 419902
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US 

    Web Views: 140
    Downloads: 0