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Arctic Planning: Navy Report to Congress Aligns with Current Assessments of Arctic Threat Levels and Capabilities Required to Execute DoD's Strategy


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The Navy is responsible for providing ready forces for current operations and contingency response in the Arctic Ocean. According to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the coverage of sea ice in the Arctic has diminished significantly since 1981.This could potentially increase maritime activities there, leading to a need for a greater U.S. military and homeland security presence in the region. Public Law 115-91 required the Navy to report to Congress on the Navys capabilities in the Arctic, including any capability gaps and requirements for ice-hardened vessels. It also included a provision for GAO to review the Navys report. This report (1) assesses the extent to which the Navys report aligns with current assessments of Arctic threat levels and capabilities required to execute DODs 2016 Arctic Strategy and (2) describes any current requirements for ice-hardened vessels and DODs approach for evaluating the capabilities needed as Arctic requirements evolve.



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