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The USS Hampton surfaces through the ice in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016, a five-week exercise designed to allow the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic.

The USS Hampton surfaces through the ice in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016, a five-week exercise designed to allow the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

The USS Hampton surfaces through the ice in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016, a five-week exercise designed to allow the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic.

The USS Hampton surfaces through the ice in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016, a five-week exercise designed to allow the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

The sun sets on on Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise.

The sun sets on on Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 249th Airlift Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard flies over a temporary ice camp on an ice flow in the Arctic Ocean, March 2, 2016, after dropping eight pallets of equipment and supplies in support of Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 allows the Navy to assess our readiness to operate in the Arctic.

A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 249th Airlift Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard flies over a temporary ice camp on an ice flow in the Arctic Ocean, March 2, 2016, after dropping eight pallets of equipment and supplies in support of Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 allows the Navy to assess our readiness to operate in the Arctic. (Edward Eagerton/U.S. Air Force)

More than 12,000 pounds of cargo fall out of the back of a C-17 Globemaster III over the Arctic Ocean in support of the U.S. Navy Submarine Forces' Ice Exercise 2016 on March 3, 2016.

More than 12,000 pounds of cargo fall out of the back of a C-17 Globemaster III over the Arctic Ocean in support of the U.S. Navy Submarine Forces' Ice Exercise 2016 on March 3, 2016. (Sheila deVera/U.S. Air Force)

Chief Petty Officer Phil Alampi, an electrician's mate assigned to the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, mines ice that will be melted down and used as drinking water on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational capabilities in the region.

Chief Petty Officer Phil Alampi, an electrician's mate assigned to the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, mines ice that will be melted down and used as drinking water on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational capabilities in the region. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Rick Hagen, left, and Joan Gardner, with the Naval Research Laboratory gather ice core samples in the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016. The core samples will help the scientists measure salinity and density as part on an ongoing ice characterization research project, during Ice Exercise 2016.

Rick Hagen, left, and Joan Gardner, with the Naval Research Laboratory gather ice core samples in the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016. The core samples will help the scientists measure salinity and density as part on an ongoing ice characterization research project, during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Madlem, an electronics technician assigned to the Arctic Submarine Lab, stands safety watch March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Madlem, an electronics technician assigned to the Arctic Submarine Lab, stands safety watch March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Engineers with the Applied Physics Lab, create a hole in nine feet of ice to deploy divers during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 allows the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience in the region, advance understanding of the Arctic Environment, and develop partnerships and collaborative efforts.

Engineers with the Applied Physics Lab, create a hole in nine feet of ice to deploy divers during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 allows the U.S. Navy to assess operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience in the region, advance understanding of the Arctic Environment, and develop partnerships and collaborative efforts. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 1st Class David Toone, a fire control technician assigned to the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, mines ice that will be melted down and used as drinking water on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016.

Petty Officer 1st Class David Toone, a fire control technician assigned to the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, mines ice that will be melted down and used as drinking water on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Andrei Abelev, with the Naval Research Laboratory, collects a water sample from beneath an ice floe in the Arctic circle during Ice Exercise 2016.

Andrei Abelev, with the Naval Research Laboratory, collects a water sample from beneath an ice floe in the Arctic circle during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Master Seaman Geoff Neale with the Royal Canadian Navy, hoists the Canadian Flag on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016.

Master Seaman Geoff Neale with the Royal Canadian Navy, hoists the Canadian Flag on March 8, 2016, during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students deploy an unmanned underwater vehicle during Ice Exercise 2016.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students deploy an unmanned underwater vehicle during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer2nd Class Zachary Yanez, an aerographer's mate assigned to Fleet Weather Center Norfolk, sets up an Advanced Automated Weather Observation System during Ice Exercise 2016.

Petty Officer2nd Class Zachary Yanez, an aerographer's mate assigned to Fleet Weather Center Norfolk, sets up an Advanced Automated Weather Observation System during Ice Exercise 2016. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Garett Brada, a Coast Guard diver assigned to Regional Diver Locker West, performs an ice dive in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational capabilities in the region.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Garett Brada, a Coast Guard diver assigned to Regional Diver Locker West, performs an ice dive in the Arctic Circle during Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational capabilities in the region. (Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy)

The Navy has set up camp on a sheet of Arctic ice.

The five-week submarine drill, known as Ice Exercise 2016, is testing the Navy’s operational readiness in the Arctic, while increasing sailors’ experience in the region.

The Navy hopes the exercise, which began earlier this month, also will advance the service’s understanding of the Arctic environment, and develop partnerships and collaborative efforts, according to a Navy news release. Scientists with the Naval Research Laboratory and the Applied Physics Lab, as well as student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are conducting experiments during the exercise.

The Navy’s temporary camp includes a command post and housing for more than 70 personnel. In all, the exercise will involve some 200 participants.


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