NORTHCOM recently wrapped up Operation Polar Dagger in the Arctic, which was focused on demonstrating U.S. capabilities to monitor Arctic air and sea domains, in response to increasing Russian and Chinese activities in the region. The operation showcased the coordinated efforts of special operator air, land, and sea teams in challenging environments like the Bering Sea. This year’s operation, which was larger than the previous year’s, aimed to improve “domain awareness” and ensure efficient communication between air and ground forces. The Pentagon has noted increased efforts by Russia and China to establish dominance in the Arctic, challenging the international rules-based order.
- Operation Polar Dagger took place near Russia, specifically on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea and Shemya Island in Alaska’s Aleutian chain, after Russian military aircraft activity near Alaska.
- The mission aimed to demonstrate the joint capabilities of U.S. Air Force, Navy, and special operations forces in the Arctic, especially in extending operational reach in the region.
- This year’s operation involved the John P. Murtha LPD 26 transport ship and an AC-130 plane, focusing on improving intelligence, communications, and operational coordination between the air, sea, and ground.
- Russia and China are challenging the rules-based order in the Arctic, prompting the Pentagon to establish a new Arctic strategy in 2022.
- According to Col. Matthew Tucker, Russia and China have been increasing their collaborative efforts in the Arctic, with each pursuing their strategic interests in the region.