Congressman Jack Kingston recently returned from a trip to the North Pole during which he participated in naval exercises known as Ice Exercise (ICEX). During the visit, Congressman Kingston met with submariners and learned more about their efforts in the region.
"While I didn't see Santa Claus, I did see some of the most capable sailors in our nation's military," Congressman Kingston said. "I remain awed at the vast power of our military and its dedication to stay prepared for any threat to our national interests. From the desert heat to the arctic cold, we have the best military in the world and I'm proud to provide support to them."
ICEX is a program by which the United States' submarine force develops and hones its operational skills in the challenging and unique Arctic environment. The Arctic Ocean borders several nations and is a critical waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
In January 2009, the Arctic Region was identified as critical to the America's national security interests. With the continents of the Northern Hemisphere - Europe, Asia and North America - all sharing the Arctic Ocean, it is important that the U.S. military maintain the ability to operate their either independently or in conjunction with other nations.
With it's importance, the Arctic also provides many challenges to the military. In addition to the bitter cold above the sea, the overhead ice canopy alters the way a submarine communicates, navigates and maintains habitability. The environment also provides significant variations in the acoustic profile of the Arctic.
Congressman Kingston serves on the Defense Appropriations Committee which is responsible for funding programs like ICEX as well as all operations of the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Intelligence Community.