The Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) brought together an international group of researchers to address the problem of predicting the ocean environment. GODAE addressed the necessary technological development for data assimilation, which is a critical choke point within the process of providing meaningful information. These efforts brought a significant step forward, and today these technologies are applied operationally in areas of historically strong need. One application is for navies throughout the globe. Navies are now making regular use of oceanographic information forecast by numerical models that are initialized by assimilation of global satellite and in situ data sets. Prior to GODAE, forecast properties were not available operationally, and the information provided to navy operators was typically either climatology or local observations. The ability to forecast the ocean environment has significantly changed how navies operate. Rather than going to a location at a predetermined time and determining whether the environment is suitable to safely conduct a mission, navies can now choose where and when they may operate safely and efficiently to either avoid adverse effects or take advantage of favorable conditions. Several example events over recent years highlight how navies around the world use GODAE forecast information.