(March 9, 2018) The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) surfaces in the Beaufort Sea during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018. U.S. Navy Photo

U.S. Navy Releases Arctic Strategy

Mike Schuler
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January 6, 2021

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday revealed its strategy in the Arctic as the region becomes more and more accessible.

The forward-looking “blueprint” provides strategic guidance on how the Department of the Navy will apply naval power in the Arctic over the course of the next two decades and stresses an integrated approach for American naval power with joint forces, interagency teammates, allies, and partners. It also challenges the Navy-Marine Corps-Coast Guard team to evolve and expand the range of integrated capabilities to achieve enduring national interests in the region.

The strategy recognizes that the Arctic is gradually becoming more “blue” as receding ice coverage makes Arctic waters more accessible and navigable, allowing nations and their navies to access new sea routes, resources, and markets.

“As our naval force continues to meet the challenging demands of a Blue Arctic in this era of Great Power Competition, the Department of the Navy remains committed to protecting the Arctic environment and ensuring naval forces do their part to help preserve it,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “This blueprint guides how the Department will continue to provide the right levels and types of presence on, under, and above Arctic water, ensuring America is prepared to compete effectively and efficiently to maintain favorable balances of power. This includes strengthening cooperative partnerships to ensure coordination with key allies and partners in the region.”

The strategy places specific focus on the rising maritime activity from countries like Russia and China, who are pos­turing their navies to protect sovereignty and national inter­ests.

“Russia is investing heavily to enhance its Arctic defense and economic sectors, with a resultant multilayered militarization of its northern flank,” the document states. “By modernizing its military capabilities and posture – particularly the Northern Fleet – Russia aims to improve command and control, infrastructure, and joint force employment to project power and defend its northern approaches.”

The strategy will also take a “tailored” approach with consideration to permanently stationed forces, rotational forces, and temporary forces, pre-positioned equipment and stocks, and basing infrastructure across the region.

The full strategic blueprint for the Arctic, titled “Blue Arctic” please visit: A Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic

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