ARCTIC NATION: Air Force/Space Force Arctic Strategy; Navy Exercises; New Icebreakers for Coast Guard; Siberian Heat Wave

July 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Defense and Homeland Security News.

U.S. Air Force/Space Force Arctic Strategy.

F-35s arrive at Eielson

Two F-35A Lightning II aircraft fly over the Alaska Highway on April 21, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Technical Sergent Adam Keele)

The U.S. Air Force and the new U.S. Space Force rolled out their combined Arctic Strategy on July 21.  The Arctic sits at the intersection between the U.S. homeland and two critical theaters, Indo-Pacific and Europe, making it an increasingly vital region for U.S. national security interests.

“The Arctic’s increasing strategic importance, coupled with the Services’ significant regional investment, requires the Department [of the Air Force] to have a unified, deliberate and forward-looking approach, ensuring the Air and Space Forces can compete and defend the nation’s interests in the Arctic region,” the strategy’s 14-page summary noted.

The strategy outlines four coordinated lines of effort that Air and Space Forces will use to enhance vigilance, reach and power to the nation’s whole-of-government approach in the Arctic region:

• Vigilance in all domains
• Projecting power through a combat-credible force
• Cooperation with allies and partners
• Preparation for Arctic operations

In the Arctic, U.S. Air and Space Forces are responsible for the majority of Department of Defense missions in the region, including the regional architecture for detecting, tracking, and engaging air and missile threats. Space Professionals in the region are responsible for critical nodes of the satellite control network that deliver space capabilities to joint and coalition partners, as well as the U.S. national command authority.

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U.S.  Destroyer in Arctic Exercises.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) completed a passing exercise — also known as a PASSEX — with Norwegian navy ship off the coast of Tromso, Norway on July 15, 2020. Passing exercises are done between the ships of different navies to ensure they are able to communicate and cooperate in emergencies — whether war or humanitarian relief.

norway_pol96

Norway, Sweden (CIA World Factbook via University of Texas Libraries)

The Roosevelt (not to be confused with the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt) and the Norwegian ship HNoMS Gnist (P979) conducted the exercise in the waters of the Norwegian Sea.

Forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, the Roosevelt is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations which includes the waters of Europe and West Africa.

Earlier in July, the Roosevelt participated in an anti-submarine warfare exercise, Dynamic Mongoose 2020, with a number of NATO Allies off the coast of Iceland. Naval forces from Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States  participated in the exercise led by NATO Allied Maritime Command. Other U.S. Navy participants included Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789), and two P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft based out of Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy.

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Polar Security Cutter.

President Donald Trump has ordered a review of the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreaking polar security cutter (PSC) program, Seapower magazine reports.   The order seeks to focus on exploring options for including nuclear power and heavy armament — and leasing icebreakers in a stopgap measure.

In a June 9 White House memorandum to several federal departments —  “Safeguarding U.S. National Interests in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions” — Trump ordered a review of requirements of the acquisition program for a suitable fleet of polar security icebreakers “capable of ensuring a persistent United States presence in the Arctic and Antarctic regions in support of national interests and in furtherance of the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy, as appropriate.”

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Environment and Climate News.

Siberian Heatwave.

A heat wave continues in Russia’s Arctic, causing wildfires in Siberia. It’s also causing Arctic sea ice to melt at an alarming rate.

Sea ice loss accelerated in early- to mid-July, bringing sea ice extent — which measures the area of ocean where there’s some ice cover, down to record-low levels for this time of the year, the Washington Post reported. Using data from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Post said as of July 18, the Arctic as a region had an ice extent that was about 193,000 square miles below the previous record low for the date,

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado — which tracks ice trends and climate change — the record-low ice extent is in part the result of the Siberian heat streak that has lasted from January through June, and into July.

Arctic Region

Arctic Region (CIA World Fact Book map)

What’s the Cause?

A recent study concluded that the unusual warmth in Siberia could not have happened in the absence of human-caused global warming, the Post reported.

The study found that six straight months of anomalously mild conditions in large parts of northern Siberia so far this year — along with an Arctic temperature record of 100.4 degrees (38 Celsius) that occurred in June — would have been virtually impossible without human-induced global warming.

The study, released July 15 by the World Weather Attribution project, was produced through a collaboration between climate researchers from multiple institutions in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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USS Toledo Arrives at Ice Camp Seadragon

ARCTIC NATION is an occasional 4GWAR posting on the Far North. The U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic Region describes the United States as “an Arctic Nation with broad and fundamental interests” in the region. “Those interests include national security needs, protecting the environment, responsibly managing resources, considering the needs of indigenous communities, support for scientific research, and strengthening international cooperation on a wide range of issues.”

Entry filed under: Air and Missile Defense, Air Force, Air National Guard, Aircraft, Arctic, ARCTIC NATION, climate change, Coast Guard, HIGH NORTH, Homeland Security, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, News Developments, Skills and Training, Technology, U.S. Navy. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

FRIDAY FOTO (July 17, 2020) FRIDAY FOTO (July 24, 2020)

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