The USS Hartford, which appears in the video, is one of two Los Angeles-class subs that arrived at U.S. Navy’s temporary ice base “Camp Sargo” last week for ICEX 2016, an exercise designed to assess the operational readiness of America’s submarine force in the arctic while also supporting scientific research.
"Submarine operations as part of ICEX provide the necessary training to maintain a working knowledge of an extremely challenging region that is very different than any other ocean in the world," said Cmdr. Scott Luers, ice camp officer-in-tactical-command and deputy director of operations for Commander Submarine Forces in Norfolk. "Navigating, communicating and maneuvering are all different in an arctic environment as there are surfaces both above and below a submarine."
ICEX is a five-week exercise designed to assess the operational readiness of the submarine force while also continuing to advance scientific research in the arctic region. The Navy's Arctic Submarine Laboratory, based in San Diego, serves as the lead organization for coordinating, planning and executing the exercise involving two submarines, multiple nations and more than 200 participants.
Navy submarines have conducted under-ice operations in the Arctic region for more than 50 years, beginning with first transit by the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) in 1958. In March of 1959, USS Skate (SSN 578) became the first U.S. submarine to surface through the ice at the North Pole. USS Sargo (SSN 583), which the temporary ice camp is named after, was the first submarine to make a winter Bering Strait transit in 1960. The U.S. Navy says that since those events, the U.S. Submarine Force has completed more than 26 Arctic exercises in total.
Here are some more photos of the USS Hampton from during in the exercise: