US Navy performs EOD exercise in Arctic conditions
The USN began Snow Crab 23-1 on 4 February, a two-week exercise designed to test and evaluate its EOD capabilities in a simulated Arctic environment and improve EOD combat effectiveness.
The training is taking place at the Minnesota National Guard-operated Camp Ripley which provides ideal conditions and training ranges to simulate an Arctic environment for ice and cold weather dive training.
‘Navy EOD and navy diving forces aggressively pursue opportunities to further develop a more agile and flexible force to reduce risk to the fleet commander,’ Capt Chuck Eckhart, commander of USN Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 noted in a navy statement.
‘Snow Crab Ex allows navy EOD and navy diving forces to build capability and readiness in an Arctic environment, so we are better equipped to enable the manoeuvre of the US Navy fleet and execute our nation’s tasking anytime and anywhere,’ Eckhart continued.
According to the Department of the Navy's Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic, USN forces must be able to operate in the Arctic due to ‘rapidly melting sea ice and increasingly navigable waters’.
The exercise gives teams the opportunity to test equipment and procedures in a harsh and challenging environment.
The USN said in a statement that the ‘navy EOD will clear simulated unexploded ordnance, secure critical infrastructure and effectively communicate between units who will be distributed and operating simultaneously in a training environment- while also maintaining C2 during the exercise.
‘Navy divers will also complete ice dive training to ensure they can complete dive and salvage operations in Arctic waters.’
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