A Navy SEAL freefalls from an Austrian C-130 aircraft above the Arctic Circle in 2010. US Navy Photo
The following is from the U.S. Navy’s Arctic Roadmap: 2014-2030, released on Feb. 24, 2014.
The United States is an Arctic nation through the state of Alaska and its surrounding territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone waters located in and around the Arctic Circle. The United States Navy, as the maritime component of the Department of Defense, has global leadership responsibilities to provide ready forces for current operations and contingency response that include the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Region remains a challenging operating environment, with a harsh climate, vast distances, and little infrastructure. These issues, coupled with limited operational experience, are just a few substantial challenges the Navy will have to overcome in the Arctic Region. While the Region is expected to remain a low threat security environment where nations resolve differences peacefully, the Navy will be prepared to prevent conflict and ensure national interests are protected. Read More
The following is from the Feb. 14, 2014 Congressional Research Service report: Changes in the Arctic.
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. Read More
Elements of Russia’s Northern Fleet. RIA Novosti Photo
Russia is forming a new Northern Fleet-Unified Strategic Command dedicated to protecting its interests in the Arctic Circle before the end of 2014, RIA Novosti reported on Monday. Read More
From the January, 2014 document Implementation Plan for The National Strategy for the Arctic Region. Read More
Russia’s proposal from 2012 to expand ten bases on Russia’s Arctic borders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for Russia to expand its military presence in the Arctic following Canadian plans to claim dominion of the North Pole. Read More
From the Nov. 22, 2013 U.S> Defense Department’s Arctic Strategy:
The Arctic is at a strategic inflection point as its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected2 and human activity, driven by economic opportunity—ranging from oil, gas, and mineral exploration to fishing, shipping, and tourism—is increasing in response to the growing accessibility. Read More
If Egypt’s Suez Canal is closed to commerce, an Arctic trade route to move goods between the Pacific to the Atlantic could become a popular option, according to a Wednesday report from the international shipping magazine Fairplay. Read More
Russian Border Guard vessel Vorovsky during a visit to Seattle, Wash. in 2009. US Coast Guard Photo
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has plans to build four military ships for Arctic duty by 2020, deputy head of the Border Service of the FSB Col. Gen. Nikolai Rybalkin told reporters on Monday. Read More
Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, in front of a map of Barrow, Alaska during a recent trip. US Coast Guard Photo
The U.S. Coast Guard has unveiled its new strategy for the Arctic outlines a ten-year roadmap for patrolling the last great maritime frontier, in a Tuesday presentation by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp in Washington, D.C.
“The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources,” Papp said in a speech in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Read More
From the executive summary of the United States Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy released on May, 21 2013: As arctic ice recedes and maritime activity increases, the Coast Guard must be prepared to administer and inform national objectives over the long-term. The United States is an arctic nation, and the Coast Guard supports numerous experienced and capable partners in the region. The aim of this strategy is to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the arctic. This strategy establishes objectives to meet this aim and support national policy. framed with a planning horizon of 10 years, it delineates the ends, ways, and means for achieving strategic objectives while articulating factors that contribute to long-term success. Read More