ICEX18 (Ice Exercise 2018) was kicked off early March, beginning the five week exercise in one of the world’s harshest environments: the arctic cold. Every other year, the U.S. Navy conducts this training event that tests and train’s the Navy’s capabilities in the unforgiving northern temperatures, and to coordinate with partner nations while doing so. They operate from a temporary camp by the name of Ice Camp Skate (pictured above), that supports the various elements as it rests on a sheet of floating ice.

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Here, the Seawolf-class, nuclear powered attack submarine the USS Connecticut has surfaced near the Los Angeles-class submarine, the USS Hartford. The Navy has been practicing operating their submarines under the ice since 1947, and technology has come a long way to support these types of missions. This “breaching” through the ice is an essential part of operating in the arctic.