Ice Exercise 2009

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USS Annapolis (SSN-760) rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during ICEX 2009

Ice Exercise 2009 (ICEX) was a two-week US naval military exercise that took place in March 2009.[1][2] Its aim was to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions.[1][3] The polar region has become the subject of increased attention on the part of the Arctic Circle countries because of potential competition for its natural resources.[4]


Two US Atlantic Fleet Los Angeles-class attack submarines, USS Helena and USS Annapolis, took part in the exercise.[3][4]

The Russian Pacific Ocean Fleet said it would closely monitor the exercise. "Any action by foreign submarines in the vicinity of Russia's maritime borders naturally demands heightened scrutiny on our part, especially in the light of an accident involving a British submarine during a previous exercise," an official from the fleet said.[4] He also said that the Pacific Fleet would use all its reconnaissance capability deployed on the Kamchatka Peninsula to track the activities of the U.S. exercise.[4]

Michael Byers of Globe and Mail speculated that the USS Annapolis might travel to Alaska using a 2,000-kilometre shortcut through the Northwest Passage, which Canada claims as "internal waters". According to maritime law, in Canadian internal waters, Washington must obtain Ottawa's permission for any voyage, whether on the surface or submerged. According to Byers, "Ottawa's failure to protest against the submarine transits could constitute evidence that - in the corridors of international diplomacy, where it really matters - Canada has already surrendered its claim."[3]


  1. ^ a b "Subs head far north for ICEX 2009". Navy Times. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ice Exercise 2009 Researchers join Navy exploring the Arctic". Anchorage Daily News. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Arctic sovereignty: Another threat runs silent and deep". The Globe and Mail. 10 April 2009 [5 March 2009]. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Russia to monitor U.S. naval drills off Alaska coast". RIA Novosti. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2011.