Nuclear Submarines Start ICEX Military Exercises in Arctic Ocean - US Navy

© AP Photo / Greg BakerCrew member patrols on the USS Charlotte, a nuclear powered attack submarine, at the Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo. (File)
Crew member patrols on the USS Charlotte, a nuclear powered attack submarine, at the Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo. (File) - Sputnik International
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US nuclear submarines started have the five-week-long Ice Exercise (ICEX) in the Arctic Ocean.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A force of US nuclear submarines has started exercises with the construction of US Navy Ice Camp, the official Navy News Service announced.

"ICEX allows us to assess our operational readiness in the Arctic, increase our experience in the region… and advance our understanding of the Arctic environment," US Navy Submarine Forces Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Tofalo said in the report on Wednesday.

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As part of the exercise, a temporary camp is being established on a sheet of ice, known as an ice floe, to maintain submarine readiness and support Arctic objectives and initiatives, the Navy News Service pointed out.

"The Arctic environment plays a key role in national defense. With over a thousand miles of Arctic coastline, the US has strong national security and homeland defense interests in the region," Tofalo noted.

The Arctic is experiencing a trend of diminishing sea ice extent and thickness, creating the likelihood of increased maritime activity in the region, including trans-oceanic shipping and resource extraction, the Navy News Service added.

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