JERVIS BAY, Australia – Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One (USVDIV-1) concluded its participation in exercise Autonomous Warrior 2023 (AW23), Nov. 2, 2023. The exercise was held on HMAS Creswell and the waters of Jervis Bay with the support of the unmanned surface vessels (USVs) Mariner, Ranger, Seahawk, and Sea Hunter to demonstrate the capabilities and interoperability potential of medium and large USVs.
Autonomous Warrior is an annual exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that invites military, government, and industry partners from different allied and partner nations to inform decisions related to autonomous and unmanned systems. During the exercise, USVDIV-1 worked with event organizers to test technologies designed to confront emerging maritime security challenges and maintain asymmetric advantages in the Indo-Pacific.
“It’s only fitting that one of the U.S. Navy’s most state-of-the-art commands is participating with the Royal Australian Navy in one of their most innovative and cutting-edge exercises,” said Chief Operations Specialist Joshua Merrill, chief petty officer-in-charge aboard USV Ranger.
The exercise marks the first time USVDIV-1 has participated in Autonomous Warrior, which this year featured more than 300 personnel and included participation with several branches of the Australian Defense Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and the Office of Naval Research.
“My team has been collaborating with the RAN on planning this exercise from the start,” said Cmdr. Jeremiah Daley, commanding officer of USVDIV-1. “We are conducting multiple USV movements and operations in concert with manned surface combatants to support our close ally in rapidly developing this paradigm shifting capability.”
Daley expressed that one of USVDIV-1’s line of efforts while developing concepts of operations for future USV programs of record is to increase attentiveness across a larger naval area, stating that autonomy is a “game-changer” within the maritime domain.
“The more capability that can be brought to small, medium and large unmanned platforms, the greater our maritime domain awareness will increase,” said Daley. “Along with the ability to conduct maritime operations in contentious environments and extend our stand-off distance, there’s the greater benefit of keeping Sailors out of harm’s way and focused on more strategic mission sets.”
Royal Australian Navy Cdre. Darron Kavanagh, Director General of Warfare Innovation, officer conducting the Autonomous Warrior exercise weighed in on this year’s U.S. Navy inclusion, specifically USVDIV-1.
“Having USVDIV-1 here has been a real game-changer for us,” said Kavanagh. “Having the units from USVDIV-1 interact with the Australian autonomous assets has allowed us to really progress some of those aspects we’re working on with the Australian, United Kingdom and the United States partnership, of the transfer of control, and also how we operate together not only with crewed assets, but in the autonomous area. It’s giving us great insights on decisions that we’re going to make in the Royal Australian Navy in the future.”
USVDIV-1 is currently employed in the 7th Fleet area of operations during Integrated Battle Problem (IBP) 23.2, an ongoing U.S. Pacific Fleet exercise to test, develop and evaluate unmanned platforms. IBP 23.2 also serves as an opportunity to develop relationships with the fleet, to include international partners, to better integrate USVs for future operational programs of record.
“I am proud to represent the U.S. Navy as the senior officer conducting the [AW23] exercise,” said Daley. “We’ve received nothing but positivity with working with the Royal Australian Navy and I look forward to continuing to build our partnership with them in securing a stronger, safer, and more connected Indo-Pacific.”
USVDIV-1’s mission is to test, evaluate and operate in support of integrating USVs into fleet operations and provide recommendations to Navy leadership on the development of unmanned systems.
|Date Posted:||11.17.2023 22:17|
|Location:||JERVIS BAY, ACT, AU|
This work, USVDIV-1 Participates Alongside RAN in Autonomous Warrior 2023, by PO2 Jesse Monford, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.