Ireland will have the “smartest, most innovative and responsive” navy in the world within the next few years.
That’s according to the Navy’s boss, who says this will be achieved through further education of his 950-stong force and a number of collaborations with research agencies and big business.
It’s probably just as well because the Navy will come under increasing pressure in the years ahead to protect government-led initiatives to increase acquaculture and the recovery of energy sources from the State’s near one million sq kms of sea.
Commodore Mark Mellett, flag officer commanding the Naval Service, said in the past two years the force had embarked on on-the-job education in collaboration with CIT and around 70% of ranked personnel had attained HETAC higher-level certificates or degrees.
“It’s our vision to have the best-educated navy in the world. We are currently benchmarking ourselves against other navies and are already up there with the best of them,” Commodore Mellett said.
The navy is also working very closely with UCC and the Irish Maritime Energy Research Centre (IMERC) and data storage giant EMC on big data cloud projects.
Other collaboration initiatives include testing next-generation, remotely operated submersibles developed by the National Underwater Research Centre at University of Limerick.
The navy is leading the European Defence Agency’s pooling of naval training resources and is collaborating with the European Space Agency and Irish companies to develop improved maritime surveillance technology.
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