U.S. Navy eyes greater presence in Arctic from 2025

marinelink.com
Friday, February 28, 2014

The U.S. Navy is mapping out how to expand its presence in the Arctic beginning around 2020, given signs that the region's once permanent ice cover is melting faster than expected, which is likely to trigger more traffic, fishing and resource mining.

"The Arctic is all about operating forward and being ready. We don't think we're going to have to do war-fighting up there, but we have to be ready," said Rear Admiral Jonathan White, the Navy's top oceanographer and navigator, and director of the Navy's climate change task force.

"We don't want to have a demand for the Navy to operate up there, and have to say, 'Sorry, we can't go,'" he said.

The Navy this week released an "aggressive" update to its 2009 Arctic road map after a detailed analysis of data from a variety of sources showed that seasonal ice is disappearing faster than had been expected even three years ago.

The document said the Bering Strait was expected to see open conditions about 160 days a year by 2020, with the deep ocean routes of the Transpolar transit route forecast to be open for up to 45 days annually by 2025.

The document includes dozens of specific tasks and deadlines for Navy offices, including calling for better research on rising sea levels and the ability to predict sea ice thickness, assessment of satellite communications and surveillance needs, and evaluation of existing ports, airfields and hangars.

It also puts a big focus on cooperation with other Arctic nations and with the U.S. Coast Guard, which is grappling with the need to build a new $1 billion ice-breaking ship.

The Navy is conducting a submarine exercise in the Arctic next month, and plans to participate in a joint training exercise with the Norwegian and Russian military this summer. White said the Navy's new road map was aimed at answering "the billion dollar question" of how much it would cost to prepare for an increased naval presence in the Arctic, and trying to determine what investments were needed when.

"We're trying to use this road map to really be able to answer that question," White said, noting that early smaller-scale investments could help avert bigger bills in the future.

He said efforts were under way now in the Navy to identify specific requirements for weather-hardened ships and other equipment, land-based infrastructure, and better bandwidth for satellite and shore-based communications capabilities.

The Office of Naval Research and the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are already funding numerous Arctic-focused projects with industry, White said, predicting increased public-private projects in recent years.

He said he realized U.S. military budgets are under pressure, but hoped the plan would help undergird Arctic-related budget requests in coming years by showing lawmakers that the Navy had carefully studied and evaluated its options.

"As far as I'm concerned, the Navy and Coast Guard's area of responsibility is growing," White said. "We're growing a new ocean, so our budget should be growing in line with that."

The Navy has long operated submarines in the region, and flies surveillance and unmanned aircraft as needed, but by 2020 it plans to boost the number of personnel trained for Arctic operations. By 2030, as the Arctic Ocean becomes increasingly ice-free, the Navy said it would have the training and personnel to respond to crises and national security emergencies.

The Navy's updated road map noted that the Arctic has significant oil, gas and mineral resources, including some rare earth minerals now supplied mainly by China, and estimated hydrocarbon resources of over $1 trillion.

Those resources are attractive to big multinational corporations and other countries, but they face big financial, technical and environmental risks due to the harshness of the environment, and the unpredictable weather, White said.

"If we do start to see a rush, and people try to get up there too fast, we run the risk of catastrophes," he said, urging a more gradual, measured move into the region by the private sector. "Search and rescue in the cold ice-covered water of the Arctic is not somewhere we want to go."

 

By Andrea Shalal


Navy

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

Scorpene Submarine Data Leak: Setback to Indian Navy

India has began multiple investigations to determine the extent of damage caused by the reported massive leak of secret data detailing the combat and stealth capabilities

Navigation

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

NOAA Engineers a Better Current Sensor for Mariners

Navigating into seaports is now safer and more efficient for mariners thanks to improved NOAA technology that ships rely on to give them information about currents.

SMM 2016: World Premieres from around the Globe

Some 50,000 trade visitors from the whole of the world are expected in Hamburg for the start of SMM in less than two weeks. And once again, it is fully booked – with a total of more than 2,

Finance

NParks, Keppel in S$2.08 mln Partnership for Restoring Singapore Forest Wetlands

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Keppel Corporation today unveiled plans for a partnership to restore the freshwater forest wetland ecosystem historically

Skaugen Goes to Red Again

Norwegian Marine Transportation Service Company I.M. Skaugen SE reported interim losses but cautiously positive and expecting a gradual recovery of trading opportunities

Kongsberg Performs Well in Q2

Norwegian defence and marine technology company Kongsberg Gruppen's second quarter 2016 (Q2) financial results shows sales performance broadly in line with recent trends,

Maritime Safety

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

ABS Makes it Safer to ‘Walk to Work’

ABS announced the publication of The ABS Guide for Certification of Offshore Access Gangways. The new Guide addresses certification for safety systems used for “walk to work” (W2W) crew transfers.

Scorpene Submarine Data Leak: Setback to Indian Navy

India has began multiple investigations to determine the extent of damage caused by the reported massive leak of secret data detailing the combat and stealth capabilities

Eye on the Navy

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

Iran Vessels Make 'High Speed Intercept' of US Ship

Four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels "harassed" a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid

Shots Fired: US Navy Ship Warns Iranian Vessel

A U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots after an Iranian fast-attack craft approached two U.S. ships in the northern Gulf on Wednesday, a U.S. Defense official said.

Government Update

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Cochin Port Gets a Little 'Breathing Space'

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of India, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for waiver of penal interest on Government

Iran Vessels Make 'High Speed Intercept' of US Ship

Four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels "harassed" a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid

Arctic Operations

MV WERFTEN, Foreship Sign Design Agreements

MV WERFTEN signed a letter of intent with the engineering company Foreship in Stralsund today. The agreement includes parts of the basic design as well as design,

BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips 'Quit' Alaska LNG Project

BP, Conoco Phillips, and Exxon Mobil said that the 65-billion dollar megaproject would be too unprofitable for them to move into the next phase of development.

Tuco’s New Arctic Workboat to Debut at SMM

Danish producer Tuco Marine said it will reveal a new Arctic workboat daughter craft at next month’s SMM in Hamburg.   Many arctic patrol vessels, icebrakers

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1115 sec (9 req/sec)