The USS Hartford is seen popping up into sight through thick Arctic Circle ice near the temporary U.S. Navy station Ice Camp Sargo for the Ice Exercise 2016.
The ICEX, which runs for five weeks, aims to "research, test and evaluate operational capabilities" of the United States Navy in this region of the world.
Apart from the USS Hartford, another Los Angeles-class submarine, the USS Hampton, is going to carry out several Arctic transits, scientific data collection, a surfacing in the North Pole and more training evolutions.
"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.
He added that communicating, navigating and maneuvering in the Arctic region are different as opposed to doing those tasks in other oceans in the world, as there exist surfaces below and above the submarine.
Rear Adm. Jeff Trussler, the Undersea Warfighting Development Center's commander, said that the Arctic Submarine Laboratory of the United States Navy, headed by Larry Estrada, is leading in Arctic undersea operations across the globe.
"ICEX 2016 is our continued commitment to the development of undersea warfare capabilities and tactics in all areas of the world," Trussler added.
Of more than 26 Arctic exercises, ICEX 2016 is the most recent U.S. Submarine Forces exercise carried out since activity in the region began in 1958.
Back in 1958, the USS Nautilus initially made a transit of the region. The USS Skate, however, was the very first United States submarine to break through the Arctic ice in 1959 in this region. In 1960, the USS Sargo was the first one to carry out a Bering Strait transit. The present temporary ice camp of the U.S. Submarine Forces is named after this submarine.
The San Diego-based Arctic Submarine Laboratory is regarded as the lead organization which handles the planning, coordination and execution of the exercise. The exercise involves two submarines, different countries and more than 200 participants.
If you wish to get a glimpse of this slow and dramatic surfacing of the USS Hartford in the Arctic Circle, hit the play button below.