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World The Navy is putting 'the proper equipment' back on its ships to operate in harsh Arctic conditions

16:28  08 august  2020
16:28  08 august  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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The Navy hasn't limited its sailors' Arctic eduction to US ships . This summer, a Navy surface warfare officer "The area that we're talking about from the European Arctic standpoint, the North Atlantic You can do lot of things in what we could call the Arctic in this context with the equipment that all of

While its actual makeup is still in the works, it is expected to reach initial operational capability this summer. When it does, it will be a small fighting force that has taken But growing concern over potential Russian dominance in the North Atlantic and Arctic prompted Chief of Naval Operations Adm.

a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background: A small-boat crew from Coast Guard cutter Juniper, a buoy tender, underway in Pond Inlet in Nunavut, in the Arctic, August 30, 2012. US Coast Guard/PO3 Cynthia Oldham © US Coast Guard/PO3 Cynthia Oldham A small-boat crew from Coast Guard cutter Juniper, a buoy tender, underway in Pond Inlet in Nunavut, in the Arctic, August 30, 2012. US Coast Guard/PO3 Cynthia Oldham
  • The Navy and Coast Guard are heading back into the Arctic this month, joining Canadian, Danish, and French ships for the annual Canadian-led exercise Operation Nanook.
  • The US and other navies are increasing their presence in the Arctic as the region grows more accessible, but that requires sailors to adjust their training and their gear for a new, harsh environment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Navy continues to adapt to harsh Arctic conditions, Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, head of the Navy's 2nd Fleet, said Tuesday.

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Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly apologized Monday night for calling the now-ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt "stupid" in an address to the ship 's crew Monday morning.

The harsh climate makes the simplest of activities, let alone military drills, slower Many of its soldiers have little idea how to operate in the punishing, far-reaching corners of their own home. Russia is dramatically expanding its military footprint in the Arctic as tensions roil further south, though still not

After decades focused on other regions, the Navy has been increasing its presence in the Arctic as it grows more accessible to economic activity and, in turn, to broader strategic competition with rivals like Russia and China.

The latest venture north began Tuesday, when Navy and Coast Guard ships joined Canadian, Danish, and French vessels for the annual Canadian-led exercise Operation Nanook in the waters between Canada and Greenland.

The exercise consists of "basic tactical operating in the higher latitudes," elements of which are "significantly different than how we operate" elsewhere, Lewis said.

a helicopter flying over a body of water: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter takes off from Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner, August 2, 2020. US Navy/MCS Seaman Apprentice Sawyer Connally © US Navy/MCS Seaman Apprentice Sawyer Connally An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter takes off from Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner, August 2, 2020. US Navy/MCS Seaman Apprentice Sawyer Connally

"If you fall in the water where they're going to be operating, you're not going to survive very long unless you have the proper equipment on board, which is something that we have taken off our ships in recent years, and now we've put it back in," Lewis said.

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The US Navy is facing difficult questions about the health of its fleet in the aftermath of the USS John S These are just the conditions that can lead to an increase in the kinds of accidents we are Retired Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, a CNN diplomatic and military analyst, said the Navy 's review

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Other lessons are being relearned, Lewis said, citing the USS Harry S. Truman, which sailed into the Arctic in 2018 — the first such trip by a carrier in decades — with "a bunch of baseball bats to knock ice off the superstructure."

"You have to have the flexibility and the timing built into your scheme of maneuver ... because the weather has a huge impact on your ability to make it through straits or going through a certain chokepoint," Lewis said.

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner will also do rigid-hull inflatable boat operations as part of the exercise. "It is the first time that we're putting a boat in the water recently in these temperature climates," Lewis said.

a large ship in a body of water: US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner the Atlantic Ocean, August 2, 2020. US Navy/MCS MC2 Sara Eshleman © US Navy/MCS MC2 Sara Eshleman US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner the Atlantic Ocean, August 2, 2020. US Navy/MCS MC2 Sara Eshleman

"It's by nature a fairly challenging environment anyway," Lewis added. "But then you throw the temperature and the potential sea state being higher — that's something we need to kind of take a crawl-walk-run approach to."

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  The Navy's problems keep growing as it takes a leading role against Russia and China Problems with its leaders and its ships reflect a maritime force that is beset with serious and systemic problems that need immediate attention. © Wikimedia Commons Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald. Wikimedia Commons First there is the issue of combat effectiveness at the lowest echelons of maritime service, the combination of ships, aircraft, materiel and command, obedience, discipline, and readiness.

A naval ship designed to operate in any number of roles supporting combatant ships and other naval operations, including a wide range of activities Also the proper reply from a hailed boat, to indicate that an officer is on board. azimuth circle. An instrument used to take the bearings of celestial objects.

When manoeuvring a conventional ship , if the engine is stopped with the rudder hard over what happens to the rudder turning force? For how long time should a VHF survival craft transceiver be able to operate on its batteries ?

Nanook will have gunnery and other drills, such as tracking vessels of interest. "A lot of it has to do with basic warfare serials ... and then basic security tasks and operating together," Rear Adm. Brian Santarpia said Tuesday.

Santarpia, who commands Canadian naval forces in the Atlantic and Arctic, said it was "great" to get sailors into unfamiliar surroundings.

"Once we put them up there, they're going to solve all the problems on their own," Santarpia said. "They just have to recognize that there is a challenge and then they tend to get after it."

'We're going to learn a lot'

a large ship in a body of water: US Coast Guard cutter Willow transits near an iceberg with a Danish naval vessel in the Nares Strait, August 23, 2011. US Coast Guard/PO3 Luke Clayton © US Coast Guard/PO3 Luke Clayton US Coast Guard cutter Willow transits near an iceberg with a Danish naval vessel in the Nares Strait, August 23, 2011. US Coast Guard/PO3 Luke Clayton

The Canadian military has conducted Operation Nanook since 2007, working with local and foreign partners to practice disaster response and maritime security across northern Canada. There will be no operations ashore this year because of COVID-19.

The Canadian ships left Halifax on Tuesday with US Coast Guard medium-endurance cutter Tahoma. They will meet USS Thomas Hudner and sail north to meet French and Danish ships and operate around the Davis Strait, off Greenland's west coast.

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Commercial ships operating in polar waters were not required to comply: most did, but Thus, once the new Polar Code comes into force, commercial vessels that elect to operate in polar It escorted the CLELIA II on a multi-day journey across the Drake Passage back to its homeport of Ushuaia

Ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic environments are exposed to a number of unique risks. Poor weather conditions and the relative lack of Cold temperatures may reduce the effectiveness of numerous components of the ship , ranging from deck machinery and emergency equipment to sea

"This will be the farthest north that we have deployed this class of cutter, so we're excited to showcase the agility of our fleet," Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area commander, said Tuesday.

Lewis and Poulin both said Nanook is a chance to practice adapting to challenges in the Arctic, such as communications interference.

"That's one of the reasons we wanted to push this medium endurance cutter so far north. We're going to learn a lot about our own operations" and about "the logistics chain that's required to support our Coast Guard assets that are so far north," Poulin said.

a small boat in a large body of water: Search and rescue technicians on a CH-149 Cormorant conduct a hoist-rescue exercise with Canadian coastal defense ship Shawinigan during Operation Nanook, August, 22, 2014. Joint Task Force (North)/LS Mat1 Barrieau © Joint Task Force (North)/LS Mat1 Barrieau Search and rescue technicians on a CH-149 Cormorant conduct a hoist-rescue exercise with Canadian coastal defense ship Shawinigan during Operation Nanook, August, 22, 2014. Joint Task Force (North)/LS Mat1 Barrieau

The Canadian military adjusted Nanook in 2018 to include "everything we did in the Arctic," Santarpia said. "It demonstrates ... to anybody who is interested in the Arctic that Canada knows ... how to take care of its own security and sovereignty in that area."

Santarpia said more activity in the Arctic, facilitated by a warming climate, underscores the need to be present there for strategic reasons as well as emergency response.

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"Last year was the warmest year in the Arctic that they've ever had. This year's on pace to be warmer yet. It allows us to operate [there] for a little bit longer," Santarpia said, adding that Canada's navy didn't "have any [Arctic] ability until just Friday, when the very first Canadian Arctic offshore patrol ship was delivered."

That ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, arrived two years late, but five more are to be delivered to Canada's navy and two to its coast guard in the coming years.

"Next year, it'll be part of the of the exercise, and that vessel can operate actually in the first-year ice that's a meter thick," Santarpia said. But until then the Canadian navy "is limited to where the ice is not pack ice."

As those waters become navigable for longer periods, "we will slowly be able to spend more time in the north," Santarpia added. "As the new capability comes online ... we'll be up there for the majority of year eventually."

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