Ice Exercise was a United States Navy mission in the Arctic Ocean.
On March 2, 2016, the United States Navy set course bound for the Arctic region. Roughly two weeks later two Los Angeles-Class Submarines arrived at US Navy Ice Camp Sargo, which is a temporary camp stationed on top of a floating ice sheet. Their objective was to carry out the US Navy’s Ice X exercise to evaluate the readiness of the Navy’s submarine force and pursue further interest into scientific fields of the Arctic region. The 2016 ICE X took place over a five-week period and included over 200 participants from the four nations: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Norway. The Arctic Submarine Laboratory will also be participating. The Arctic Submarine Laboratory is responsible for the construction of Camp SARGO, conducting tests and evaluations under Arctic operations, and acts as a liaison between the civilian science community and submarine operations.
The submarines will conduct Arctic transits in which they will surface and break the ice (usually 60-90 cm or 2–3 feet thick), collect data, and run other training exercise to gain experience working in this region. The United States' first ICE X exercise in which a submarine surfaced and broke the ice was in 1958. Since then, the United States has conducted more than 26 Arctic exercises, including the Ice Exercise 2009. The importance of this exercise is that “the submarine operations to the North Pole provides the required training broaden our knowledge of an extremely challenging region that is very different than any other ocean in the world," said Cmdr. Scott Luers. Other than collecting data and training in this region the ICE X exercise also shows the US Navy's Arctic defense capabilities and readiness for roles in this region, increases the experience of sailing and working in the area, and gathering broader knowledge about this region.