Putin’s secret submarine twist: US Navy’s 50 years of classified Arctic missions revealed | World | News


However, former Vice President Al Gore revealed how the US has been conducting its own secret missions for more than 50 years. 

Mr Gore, who was was Bill Clinton’s running mate in 1992 and 1996, claimed during his book “An Inconvenient Truth” how he has even travelled on two of these missions. 

He wrote in 2006: “On two occasions I travelled underneath the Arctic ice cap in a nuclear submarine, which then surfaced through the ice.  

“The second time it surfaced precisely at the North Pole.  

“The US Navy’s specially designed Arctic subs have been patrolling under the ice cap for 50 years, continually since the first mission of the USS Nautilus in 1958.  

“Since they can surface only in areas where the ice is three feet thick or less, the Navy has kept a meticulous record of ice thickness measure by upward-looking sonar.”  

The US Navy Ice Exercise (ICEX) is a biennial operation conducted below the arctic ice that dates back more than half a century. 

During these exercises, nuclear submarines test weapons, navigating under and surfacing through the ice and tactical capabilities. 

The attack submarine USS Hartford participated in the past two exercises, which were about “developing tactical prowess,” said Captain Paul Whitescarver, commanding officer of the Naval Submarine Base.  

Mr Whitescarver added that in the future, the Navy will seek to spend more money to increase its presence in the area. 

He said: “By 2020, middle of 2025, we’re going to start spending more money on how we participate in the Arctic.” 

In 2014, the US Navy declassified plans for domination in the Arctic. 

Part of the document reads: “In the coming decades, the Arctic Ocean will be increasingly accessible and more broadly used by Arctic and non-Arctic nations seeking the Region’s abundant resources and trade routes. 

“Due to the significant retreat of sea ice, previously unreachable areas have started to open for maritime use several weeks each year. 

“The predicted rise in oil and gas development, fishing, tourism, and mineral mining could alter the Region’s strategic importance as Arctic and non-Arctic nations make investments.” 

The document goes on to reveal why the US is so invested in the Arctic region. 

It adds: “In November 2013, the Secretary of Defence published the Department of Defense Arctic Strategy identifying two supporting objectives to the National Strategy. 

“To ensure security, support safety, and promote defence cooperation.” 

“[And] Prepare for a wide range of challenges and contingencies. 

“In support of the National and Department of Defense aims, the Navy will pursue the following strategic objectives. 

“Ensure United States Arctic sovereignty and provide homeland defence. 

“Provide ready naval forces to respond to crisis and contingencies. 

“Preserve freedom of the seas and promote partnerships within the United States Government and with international allies and partners.” 

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