The USS Hampton surfaced at the Navy’s ice base in the Arctic Ocean on Monday. Navy photo

The San Diego-based submarine USS Hampton surfaced through the ice Monday at the Navy’s temporary ice base in the Arctic Ocean.

The Hampton and the Connecticut-based USS Hartford, another Los Angeles-class, nuclear-powered attack submarine, arrived at Ice Camp Sargo, a temporary station atop a floating ice sheet.

The two submarines will conduct multiple arctic transits, a North Pole surfacing, scientific data collection and other training as part of ICEX — Ice Exercise 2016.

“Submarine operations as part of ICEX provide the necessary training to maintain a working knowledge of an extremely challenging region that is very different than any other ocean in the world,” said Cmdr. Scott Luers, ice camp officer-in-tactical-command.

“Navigating, communicating and maneuvering are all different in an arctic environment as there are surfaces both above and below a submarine,” he said.

The Navy’s Arctic Submarine Laboratory, based in San Diego, serves as the lead organization for coordinating, planning and executing the five-week exercise involving multiple nations and more than 200 participants.

“Our Arctic Submarine Laboratory, led by Larry Estrada, continues to be the world leader in Arctic undersea operations,” said Rear Adm. Jeff Trussler, commander of the Undersea Warfighting Development Center.

American submarines have conducted under-ice operations in the Arctic region for more than 50 years. The USS Nautilus made the first transit in 1958. The USS Skate was the first U.S. submarine to surface through arctic ice at the North Pole in March 1959.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.