Tags: Trump Administration | arctic | icemelt | navy | alaska | coldwar

As Arctic Melts, US Navy Moves Into Region

ice in arctic
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 13 January 2019 10:30 AM

In an effort to get ahead of Russia and China in the far north, the U.S. Navy is positioning itself closer to the Arctic as it melts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Navy announced this week plans to conduct a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the melting Arctic for the first time, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told the Journal.

"The concept is, yes, go up there," Spencer told the paper. "We're developing them as we speak."

Among the plans include stationing in Adak, Alaska at a base last operated from World War II through the Cold Wall from 1942 to 1997, according to the report.

"It has some amazing facilities," Spencer told the Journal. "Could we bring some surface ships there? Yes."

With climate change, the Arctic has become increasingly navigable, potentially opening trans-Arctic routes and exploration of oil reserves, according to the Government Accountability Office.

FONOP's are ostensibly preemptive claims on rights to navigate before territorial disputes arise, according to the Journal, and the U.S. is pressing its presence in the area to counter potential territorial claims, namely Russia. Both Russia and China have been working to stake claims as Arctic nations.

"I've been pressing them to do something — not just with submarines," Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, told the Journal. "It kind of defeats the purpose if you can't see it."

The U.S. Navy plans help set up a better understanding of the region and how to navigate icy waters and dealing with extreme cold, according to the report.

"We've got to get up there and learn," Spencer told the Journal. "There's no other way to do it."

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In an effort to get ahead of Russia and China in the far north, the U.S. Navy is positioning itself closer to the Arctic as it melts, The Wall Street Journal reported.The Navy announced this week plans to conduct a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the melting...
arctic, icemelt, navy, alaska, coldwar
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2019-30-13
Sunday, 13 January 2019 10:30 AM
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