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Nautilus Ice Camp
Nautilus Ice Camp

Ice Exercise Is Back

By Jeff Gossett
Exercise Director
Arctic Submarine Laboratory

The Submarine Force and the Arctic Submarine Laboratory are conducting an ice exercise in the Arctic Ocean this spring and things are starting to ramp up. Once again, this submarine exercise will be supported by an ice camp – this one named Nautilus – adrift on the Arctic sea ice. And, once again, those of us working at the ice camp will share our experiences, explain why we do this, and talk about the various tests we are working on.

Nautilus Ice Camp
Nautilus Ice Camp


It’s been three years since our last ice camp but many of you may remember having followed our adventures in 2011. For you, some of this may seem repetitious. That can’t be helped; there are certain features that are common to all of these ice exercises. But there will be many new topics to cover as well.  For those of you who are joining us for the first time, welcome and thank you for showing an interest in this unique kind of submarine operations.

Over the coming weeks, we will be talking about a wide variety of topics, including the following:

  • The ice camp. What it’s like to live on the frozen ocean; the people here at the camp and how they each contribute to our being able to do our job of supporting the submarines; what exactly is an ice camp and how did we come to build it.
  • The exercise. Why the Navy and the Submarine Force are interested in the Arctic; what we are doing on this exercise and how it contributes to the Navy’s goals; and, at the end, what we have accomplished.
  • The submarines. Which submarines are participating; how they are designed to be able to function safely in the frigid Arctic; and how they carry out some of the operations and maneuvers required of them.
  • Visitors. Senior military and government officials will be visiting us over the course of the camp.  I’ll identify who they are and, if possible, provide some of their impressions of their time above and below the ice.  And, of course, we’ll mention any wildlife that might visit.

These posting will be carried on two different sites, the Arctic Submarine Laboratory’s Facebook Page and here on Navy Live. Visit either one and feel free to comment. There may be the opportunity to respond to some of your questions. Or, if you’re more interested in just seeing what others have to say, feel free to visit both sites; they will probably attract different readerships and, therefore, different comments.


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