The US Navy officially commenced Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2020 in the Arctic Ocean with the construction of a temporary ice camp, Camp Seadragon, and the arrival of two US Navy fast-attack submarines this week.
ICEX 2020 is a three week biennial exercise that offers the US Navy and allies like the Royal Nav the opportunity to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic and train with other services, partner nations and Allies to increase experience in the region, and maintain regional stability while improving capabilities to operate in the Arctic environment.
“The Arctic is a potential strategic corridor – between Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the U.S. homeland – for expanded competition. The Submarine Force must maintain readiness by exercising in Arctic conditions to ensure they can protect national security interests and maintain favorable balances of power in the Indo-Pacific and Europe if called upon,” said Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander, Submarine Forces.
“ICEX 2020 provides the opportunity for the Submarine Force to demonstrate combat and tactical readiness for sustained Arctic operations in the unique and challenging Arctic environment.”
The US Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory (ASL), based in San Diego, serves as the lead organization for coordinating, planning and executing the exercise involving five nations, two submarines and more than 100 participants over the three weeks of operations.
“The United States Submarine Force has been operating in the Arctic for decades, as our Navy is called upon to protect United States sovereign rights, the Submarine Force is expected to play a large role in our Arctic defense. Exercises like ICEX 2020 provide us with the opportunity to train and integrate the undersea domain into our Arctic defense,” said Caudle.