U.S. military continues to focus on importance of the Arctic

U.S. looks to counter Russian actions in region
USS Connecticut (SSN 22) surfaces in the Arctic
Posted at 9:01 AM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 09:01:57-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States continues to be concerned about Russian expansion in the Arctic region and military leaders say more needs to be done to develop a persistent presence in the region.

Changes in climate are affecting ice melt, which is opening up parts of the Arctic for both transportation, as well as development of natural resources.

Air Force General Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command, testified during a House Armed Services Committee hearing about the Arctic earlier this month.

"Currently, our capabilities, I would assess that we're in the game plan development. We're not able to have the persistence that I need to compete day-to-day in the Arctic," General VanHerck said.

The United States has been working with Canada to modernize and build additional military capabilities in the Arctic.

Last year, Norfolk-based U.S. 2nd Fleet joined Canadian forces for an exercise there.

There are currently 10 U.S. satellites in orbit and 100 more are planned to assist with domain awareness in the region.