Orange Park’s Capt. Freddie Spates advises Navy on weather conditions

By Alvin Plexico Navy Office of Community Outreach
Posted 9/3/19

STENNIS, Miss. – Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different. With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed around the world, …

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Orange Park’s Capt. Freddie Spates advises Navy on weather conditions

Posted

STENNIS, Miss. – Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different. With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed around the world, sailors and civilians serving with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, advise Navy leaders about the impact of ocean and atmospheric conditions on future operations.

Air Force Capt. Freddie Spates, a 2004 Orange Park High, is one of those responsible for providing timely, comprehensive and tactically relevant information for ships, submarines, aircraft and other commands operating throughout the globe.

As an Air Force liaison to the Navy command, Spates is responsible for advising the Navy command about the Air Force weather capabilities.

Spates credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Orange Park.

“From my hometown I learned that nothing is given, everything is earned,” said Spates. "I also learned to keep God in everything I do."

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80% of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90% of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Naval Oceanography defines and applies the physical environment for the entire Navy fleet from the bottom of the ocean to the stars,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “There isn't a plane that flies, a ship or a submarine that gets underway without the sailors and civilians of Naval Oceanography.”

Spates is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways to earn distinction in a command, community and career, Spates is most proud of his selection as Company Grade Officer of the Quarter in 2016, while serving with a prior Air Force command in Hawaii.

Serving in the military is a continuing tradition of military service for Spates, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Spates is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My father served in the Navy, and he encouraged me to join the military,” said Spates.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Spates and other servicemembers know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"It's an honor to serve in my nation's military in order to protect the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.,” added Spates.

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