Arctic Report Slated for Spring Release

US Northern Command boss Adm. Bill Gortney said he expects to release a new Arctic strategy this spring. The report will attempt to determine what requirements the Defense Department will need to inform operational plans in the region, Gortney told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. “We need to figure out what are the capabilities that we need because it’s a very harsh place,” said Gortney. He said the US currently doesn’t have the ability to “reliably navigate, communicate, and then sustain ourselves up there.” According to his prepared testimony, NORTHCOM views the Arctic as “an emerging operating area with much yet to be defined.” Russia announced late last year its long-range aviation units, such as its Tu-95 strategic bombers, would expand exercises over the Arctic and in the Western Hemisphere.