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Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

dimsum

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GR66 said:
Is there any reason that the Auroras/replacements, Swordfish and Herc palletized sensors could not be the same?  Would that not allow the sensor operators to move between airframes?

It's not just the sensors, it's the other things in the aircraft like safety equipment, etc. 

You're qualified on an aircraft type, not the sensor (or whatever equipment).  You then have to maintain those quals on every aircraft type (assuming anyone is qualified on more than one type) which are a mix of flying x hours per month, simulator time, etc. 
 

MarkOttawa

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MarkOttawa said:
And note the Danes and Greenland--and US wanting Danish fighters (F-35As will be replacing F-16s) there [Thule one assumes--under NORAD?]:

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Now from Danish defence minister with NATO London meeting in mind--no specifics:

Denmark’s defense minister: Shouldering our responsibilities in multiple cooperative frameworks
...


In our region — to the north — the situation in the Arctic is changing rapidly. This is due to climate changes. The opening of the Arctic Sea provides new opportunities. It has also led to increased military presence and interest from Arctic as well as non-Arctic states.

Russia is increasing its military presence. It is our understanding that Russia is still committed to keeping the Arctic a region of low tension. But the military buildup, in particular its offensive elements, is of concern. The increasing interest from China is directed toward access to trade routes and resources. But we should not be naive about China’s strategic interests and the potential security risks of Chinese presence in the region.

Denmark remains committed to the goal of low tension. With this in mind, Denmark will increase its situational awareness in the Arctic and strengthen its presence. We also welcome the increased focus by the U.S. on the security of the north Atlantic and the Arctic...
https://www.defensenews.com/outlook/2019/12/02/denmarks-defense-minister-shouldering-our-responsibilities-in-multiple-cooperative-frameworks/

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Eye In The Sky

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suffolkowner said:
Thanks for the info EITS, lots to think about that's for sure.

It sure seems like a "cheaper" ISR platform is a non starter just from the sensor operator standpoint, but we will be adding the king airs so I guess that is our low end?

If the Aurora's can continue to be life extended/upgraded what are we missing by not replacing with the P-8? I would have thought with a 40year old platform we were pushing things

The only KingAirs we're getting in the near future are going to the CANSOF world;  I doubt they will have the sensors or 'task sets' that pertain to maritime warfare.

ISR platform doesn't equate to "effective maritime airpower platform".  Transport Canada, PAL, etc have maritime ISR platforms (DASH 8s, basically) but they are what I'll call above water systems (and *sense* only ones, at that).  True MPAs have to be able to fight in the underwater, surface and air battle spaces, and fit into the 'system of systems'. 

Is it important to have maritime patrol aircraft?  I think so;  just for starts, it's part of our NORAD mission.  We also need a sub surface capability.  Personally, I'd rather see Canada procure some under-ice capable subs over a new MPA fleet.  :2c:
 

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EITS I was more thinking that the sensor suites/skills would be similar and that transitioning would not be that difficult from say the globaleye/swordfish to the Aurora, and that other "cheaper" platform would take some stress off the Aurora fleet. much like the light fighter discussion and maybe it's the same response from those of you in the know?
 

Eye In The Sky

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Understanding that I'm a line squadron operator, I always want the ability to find, fix and if required, destroy the enemy.

Showing up with a sensor platform that can't reach out and touch is the same, to me, as having a police force that isn't armed.  When they respond to an alarm for a break-in, they can show up and confirm "yup...there's a break-in in progress here", leave and then call the armed cops, who then have to go respond to the crime scene.

Part of the effectiveness of a platform is its 'deterrence' effect.  I mentioned subs;  when they are away from port, would you really know where if they were submerged?  No, so you'd have to assume they are anywhere/everywhere.

Planes have to take off and land and we're actually pretty easy to shadow unless we're under 100% EMCON.  We sorta have to talk to ATC so...

If you have a fleet, make it a fleet of actual MPAs.  We don't have the money and numbers to frig around with un-armed and armed cops.  They should all be armed;  you can't expect the bad guy to sit tight and wait for your armed cops to show up once the "mall cops" have found him.

:2c:
 

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Eye In The Sky said:
Understanding that I'm a line squadron operator, I always want the ability to find, fix and if required, destroy the enemy.

You couldn't have used some alliteration and said "finish" or "f***-up"?  ;D
 

Eye In The Sky

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Dimsum said:
You couldn't have used some alliteration and said "finish" or "f***-up"?  ;D

I'm only a NCM...I was stretching my literary abilities in that sentence just by using a 4 sill-la-bull word!
 

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Note italicized bits--companies have basically given up on natural gas in Canadian arctic, on land and undersea:
Russian Arctic shipping up 430 percent in three years
A total of 31,5 million tons of goods was shipped on the Northern Sea Route in 2019.

The goods volumes delivered to and from ports on the Arctic shipping route has never been close to the current level.

According to Nikolay Monko, the Acting Director of the the Northern Sea Route Administration, a total of 31,5 million tons of goods was shipped on the route in 2019. That is an increase of 56,7 percent from 2019, and 150 percent from 2018.

Over the last three years, NSR volumes have hiked by more than 430 percent. The ship traffic on the route is now several times higher than in the Soviet period. The Soviet-era record was set in 1986 when 6,455 million tons was shipped in the area.

It is liquefied natural gas (LNG) that constitutes the lion’s share of the goods volumes [emphasis added]. A total of 20,5 million tons of LNG was sent out from natural gas terminal Sabetta in Yamal, Nikolay Monko told TASS. In addition comes 1,5 million tons of ores sent from Dudinka, company Nornickel’s port on the Yenisey River, and 7,7 million tons from Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port field, news agency Korabel reports.

Transit shipments constitutes only a minor share of the goods [emphasis added]. In 2019, a total of 697,200 tons was shipped from the east to the west or vice versa on the route, an increase of 42 percent from 2018. A total of 37 ships last year made transit voyages across the remote and icy Arctic route.

The Northern Sea Route includes the waters between the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and the Bering Strait, a distance of about 5,600 km. It is a significant shortcut between markets in Europe and Asia, but is covered by ice major parts of the year and ships need icebreaker escort for maneuvering through the area [emphasis added, a major reason Russia is building all those icebreakers--to advance its economic interests].

tanker.shturmanskruratov-as.jpg

Ice-class tanker "Shturman Skuratov" is one of the ships carrying oil from Gazprom Neft's Novy Port field in Yamal. Photo: Atle Staalesen

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2020/02/russian-arctic-shipping-430-percent-three-years

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US has not followed up on Arctic FONOPs noises they were making last year, Russia's Northern Sea Route no threat to Suez traffic for at least quite a while to come--start of a post, note legal matters regarding Northwest Passage at end:

Shipping in Russia's Northern Sea Route no Big Deal for Some Time, Ditto for Northwest Passage

Further to this post,

Arctic: NW Passage Commercial Shipping Long Way Off/No Shell

here’s a generally sensible piece on Russia and the Arctic (perhaps not published where on might expect to find it):

Cold truth about Russia’s Arctic ambitions and Northern Sea Route
...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/shipping-in-russias-northern-sea-route-no-big-deal-for-some-time-ditto-for-northwest-passage/

northern1.png

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MarkOttawa

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Wow! Pres. Trump orders priority for USCG icebreakers, willing temporarily to lease abroad, interested in foreign basing (Iceland, Greenland, Australia?)--no mention of NW Passage:

Presidential Memoranda
Memorandum on Safeguarding U.S. National Interests in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions

National Security & Defense, Issued on: June 9, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND
BUDGET
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL
SECURITY AFFAIRS

SUBJECT:    Safeguarding U.S. National Interests in the
Arctic and Antarctic Regions

To help protect our national interests in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and to retain a strong Arctic security presence alongside our allies and partners, the United States requires a ready, capable, and available fleet of polar security icebreakers that is operationally tested and fully deployable by Fiscal Year 2029.  Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1.  Fleet Acquisition Program.  The United States will develop and execute a polar security icebreaking fleet acquisition program that supports our national interests in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

(a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), shall lead a review of requirements for a polar security icebreaking fleet acquisition program to acquire and employ a suitable fleet of polar security icebreakers, and associated assets and resources, capable of ensuring a persistent United States presence in the Arctic and Antarctic regions in support of national interests and in furtherance of the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy, as appropriate.  Separately, the review shall include the ability to provide a persistent United States presence in the Antarctic region, as appropriate, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty System.  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of OMB, in executing this direction, shall ensure that the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter acquisition program is not adversely impacted.

(b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Commandant of the Coast Guard, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, acting through the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of Energy, as appropriate, shall conduct a study of the comparative operational and fiscal benefits and risks of a polar security icebreaking fleet mix that consists of at least three heavy polar-class security cutters (PSC) that are appropriately outfitted to meet the objectives of this memorandum.  This study shall be submitted to the President, through the Director of OMB and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, within 60 days from the date of this memorandum and at a minimum shall include:

(i)    Use cases in the Arctic that span the full range of national and economic security missions (including the facilitation of resource exploration and exploitation and undersea cable laying and maintenance) that may be executed by a class of medium PSCs, as well as analysis of how these use cases differ with respect to the anticipated use of heavy PSCs for these same activities.  These use cases shall identify the optimal number and type of polar security icebreakers for ensuring a persistent presence in both the Arctic and, as appropriate, the Antarctic regions;

(ii)  An assessment of expanded operational capabilities, with estimated associated costs, for both heavy and medium PSCs not yet contracted for, specifically including the maximum use of any such PSC with respect to its ability to support national security objectives through the use of the following:  unmanned aviation, surface, and undersea systems; space systems; sensors and other systems to achieve and maintain maritime domain awareness; command and control systems; secure communications and data transfer systems; and intelligence-collection systems.  This assessment shall also evaluate defensive armament adequate to defend against threats by near-peer competitors and the potential for nuclear-powered propulsion [emphasis adde];

(iii)  Based on the determined fleet size and composition, an identification and assessment of at least two optimal United States basing locations and at least two international basing locations [emphasis added].  The basing location assessment shall include the costs, benefits, risks, and challenges related to infrastructure, crewing, and logistics and maintenance support for PSCs at these locations.  In addition, this assessment shall account for potential burden-sharing opportunities for basing with the Department of Defense and allies and partners, as appropriate; and

(iv)  In anticipation of the USCGC POLAR STAR’s operational degradation from Fiscal Years 2022-2029, an analysis to identify executable options, with associated costs, to bridge the gap of available vessels as early as Fiscal Year 2022 until the new PSCs required to meet the objectives of this memorandum are operational, including identifying executable, priced leasing options, both foreign and domestic.  This analysis shall specifically include operational risk associated with using a leased vessel as compared to a purchased vessel to conduct specified missions set forth in this memorandum.

(c)  In the interest of securing a fully capable polar security icebreaking fleet that is capable of providing a persistent presence in the Arctic and Antarctic regions at the lowest possible cost, the Secretary of State shall coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security in identifying viable polar security icebreaker leasing options, provided by partner nations, as a near- to mid-term (Fiscal Years 2022-2029) bridging strategy to mitigate future operational degradation of the USCGC POLAR STAR.  Leasing options shall contemplate capabilities that allow for access to the Arctic and Antarctic regions to, as appropriate, conduct national and economic security missions, in addition to marine scientific research in the Arctic, and conduct research in Antarctica in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty System.  Further, and in advance of any bid solicitation for future polar security icebreaker acquisitions, the Secretary of State shall coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify partner nations with proven foreign shipbuilding capability and expertise in icebreaker construction [emphasis added].

(d)  The Secretary of Defense shall coordinate with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to continue to provide technical and programmatic support to the USCG integrated program office for the acquisition, outfitting, and operations of all classes of PSCs.

Sec. 2.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)  the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-safeguarding-u-s-national-interests-arctic-antarctic-regions/

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Now a more, er, nuanced US tone on the arctic--Canada at end, apparently no mention of NW Passage:

U.S. wants to keep the Arctic an area of low tensions, top official

The United States wants to keep the Arctic an area of low tensions, Washington’s newly appointed Arctic coordinator said Wednesday even as he warned of growing big power rivalry in the region due to climate change and conflicting geopolitical interests.

Speaking to reporters via teleconference call barely a week after his appointment, James DeHart, struck an unusually cooperative tone even as he portended that years from now the summer of 2020 will be seen as a pivotal moment in the U.S. Arctic policy.

“Our objectives for the region are that it be peaceful and an area of low tension, and that there be close cooperation among the nations of the Arctic,” DeHart said in his opening remarks.

“We want to see economic growth and development in a way that is supportive of local communities, including the Indigenous communities of the region, and in a way that is environmentally sustainable, that respects principles of good governance and transparency.”

DeHart’s tone was in sharp contrast to the more assertive and at times almost belligerent tone of his boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who stunned observers during an Arctic policy speech in Finland last year by tongue-lashing China and Russia and their policies in the Arctic.

‘An important pivot point’

DeHart, a career diplomat with extensive experience in global defence and security issues, has stepped into a position that was left vacant for nearly three years after retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Robert Papp left office in early 2017.

His appointment should be seen in the context of several recent diplomatic and defence moves by Washington to shore up its interests in the Arctic, DeHart said.

Over the last couple of months, the U.S. has launched a comprehensive and integrated diplomatic approach and engagement in the Arctic, he added.

That includes the memorandum issued by the White House on June 9 that has set in motion the development of a fleet of Arctic icebreakers by 2029, DeHart said.

The State Department has opened a U.S. consulate in Nuuk, Greenland, DeHart said, adding that it is a significant development given the finite diplomatic resources at Washington’s disposal.

Pompeo visited Denmark less than two weeks ago, where the Arctic was an important part of discussions with Danish officials, he said. Pompeo also had a separate quadrilateral meeting that included ministers from Greenland and the Faroe Islands in addition to U.S. and Danish officials, DeHart said.

The U.S. Air Force also released its Arctic strategy in July, he added.

“In a few years people will look at this summer and see it as an important pivot point, a turning point with a more sustained and enduring attention by the United States to the Arctic region.”

‘We’re seeing really pretty dramatic environmental changes’

This renewed interest in the Arctic is driven by two main factors, he said.

“First, we’ve seen and we’re seeing really pretty dramatic environmental changes throughout the region and changes that are creating a lot of difficulties for local communities in the region, but also make the Arctic more accessible and open up new possibilities for resource extraction, seabed mining, tourism, transit routes and so forth,” DeHart said.

The second factor driving the renewed U.S. interest in the Arctic are the geopolitical changes taking place in the region, he said.

“Russia, an Arctic nation, which is increasing its activities and its security presence in the Arctic, and China, which is not an Arctic nation but has a clear interest and has shown its interest in investment and other commercial activities,” DeHart said.

“And when you look at how China has approached investment and commercial activities in other parts of the world, I think we have to be very cautious and guarded in terms of what this could mean for the very high standards of governance that we all want to see in the Arctic region.”

Limits of Moscow’s partnership with Beijing

At the same time, DeHart offered a much more nuanced view of Russia-China cooperation in the Arctic.

Moscow and Beijing are cooperating more on a tactical level than on a strategic level in the Arctic, DeHart said.

“These are two countries that have some different interests there: Russia being an Arctic nation and I think protective of its status as an Arctic nation, and China seeking to play a bigger role,” DeHart said.

He also disputed an assertion by Chinese officials that China is a “near-Arctic” state, adding that “the closest part of China to the Arctic is about 900 miles away.”

“They are not part of the Arctic and I’m not sure that Russia necessarily wants to embrace a comprehensive Chinese role in the Arctic,” DeHart said.

“I see some differences I guess in their respective interests that could pose some constraints on their cooperation in the long term.”

In the meantime, the U.S. continues to closely watch Russia’s growing military presence in the Arctic, DeHart said.

“We have to be aware of that and we want this to be a region of cooperation in the realm of science, search and rescue, and education, but we recognize also the Arctic is NATO’s northern flank. And so we look at the region through that lens as well.”

‘Understanding the Canadian perspective’

DeHart, whose State Department résumé includes a stint as a senior adviser for security negotiations and agreements and two postings to Afghanistan, as well as a posting in Norway, said one of his first priorities would be to get to know better U.S. Arctic allies, including Canada.

He dodged a question about U.S.-Canada differences in the Arctic, when asked to comment on the maritime boundary dispute in the Beaufort Sea and other contentious issues between the two neighbours.

“We have such a broad and good relationship with Canada over so many different areas and the Arctic is one of those,” DeHart said. “One of my priorities here is to make sure that I’m fully understanding the Canadian perspective on the Arctic early in my tenure here.”
https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2020/08/06/u-s-wants-to-keep-the-arctic-an-area-of-low-tensions-top-official/

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Colin Parkinson

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A good political suave response. A joint Russian, US and Canada Arctic rescue exercise might be a useful diplomatic tool and in any real event we may need Russia significant ice breaking capability.
 

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Just to counterbalance all the Arctic scarifying that's popping to the surface these days:

Arctic marine operations and shipping: A source of cooperation rather than conflict​

by Dr. Lawson W. Brigham
The Arctic marine environment is changing profoundly in response to a warming planet. Historic physical changes to the Arctic’s sea ice cover are occurring rapidly, and these changes create greater marine access and potentially longer seasons of marine navigation. Are these changes, along with resulting increases in Arctic marine traffic, fomenting discord and conflict among the Arctic states and potentially between the Arctic states and global maritime enterprises? While some have speculated that such regional discord and conflict could lead to a new Cold War or at least a hotbed of maritime tensions like those seen in the South China Sea, a review of governance changes and international actions enhancing Arctic marine safety and environmental protection during the past two decades suggests an opposite conclusion. Indeed, as this blog explains, the Arctic’s current record is one of unprecedented international cooperation and dialogue on a suite of environmental security challenges associated with greater marine use.

A look at the activities of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum chartered in 1996 among the Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), provides a glimpse into these states’ cooperative approach to protecting the Arctic’s people and marine environment. For example, focusing on environmental protection and sustainable development, the Council has used its Working Group on Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) to develop strategies and conduct assessments related to Arctic marine operations and shipping. PAME initiated a series of Arctic marine strategic plans that provide a framework for its actions, including additional work on the impacts of Arctic climate change. In response to the council’s Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) released in 2004, PAME initiated the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA). Conducted from 2004 to 2009, the assessment provides three important elements: a baseline assessment (a snapshot of Arctic marine use early in the 21st century); a strategic guide for the Arctic states, Arctic residents, and an array of stakeholders; and a policy framework of the Arctic Council and Arctic states. The 17 recommendations in the AMSA 2009 Report focus on three interrelated themes: enhancing Arctic marine safety; protecting Arctic people and the environment; and building the Arctic marine infrastructure, which were negotiated by the Arctic state experts and approved by the Arctic Ministers in April 2009. These recommendations represent a solid framework that has been used to develop and implement many safety and protection measures across the Arctic during the past decade.

Two key AMSA recommendations regarding the need for agreements on practical issues have been acted on by the Arctic states using the Arctic Council process (which includes Arctic indigenous peoples and observer engagement) to negotiate key binding agreements for the Arctic Ocean. A treaty on Arctic search and rescue (SAR) was signed by the Arctic Ministers in May 2011 during the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Nuuk, Greenland. A second treaty on oil pollution preparedness and response was signed by the Arctic Ministers in May 2013 during the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden. In addition, a new treaty for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) was signed in October 2018 (by the five Arctic Ocean coastal states and Japan, China, South Korea, Iceland, and the EU) that bars unregulated fishing in the CAO for 16 years. The core of the treaty is the precautionary principle where the parties are taking strong action before large scale fishing occurs; they have agreed to conduct scientific expeditions in the CAO to better understand this remote marine ecosystem undergoing great change.

Each of these Arctic state initiatives adds to the evolving governance complex of the Arctic Ocean through the development of enhanced safety and protection measures created under the legal framework provided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Notably, these initiatives also build upon the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration in which the five Arctic Ocean coastal states—Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia, and the United States—came together and stated that UNCLOS is the legal framework for the Arctic Ocean.

International organizations have also played a significant role in fostering cooperation on rules and regulations for polar ships and addressing the large gaps in Arctic marine infrastructure. For example, after more than two decades of study and negotiation, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved a mandatory IMO International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) that came fully into force in July 2018. The Polar Code amends three existing IMO instruments focusing on standards for safety, pollution prevention, and training, and includes the following elements: polar ship structural and equipment standards; marine safety and life-saving equipment; training and experience for polar mariners; a Polar Ship Certificate; a Polar Water Operations Manual (ship specific); and polar environmental rules.

IMO has also taken a more regional-based approach to governance in Arctic waters. After a joint submission by the Russian Federation and the United States, IMO approved a voluntary ship routing scheme in Bering Strait in December 2018, one of the more environmentally sensitive regions of the global ocean. The scheme established six two-way routes (each four nautical miles wide) and six precautionary areas; the routes are voluntary for vessels 400 gross tonnage and above.

IMO is not the only international organization to support and promote cooperative regional action on issues of maritime affairs and to address many critical and limiting Arctic marine infrastructure issues. In October 2010, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), an intergovernmental consultative body, established the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission (ARHC) to address the availability of reliable navigation and environmental data in the Arctic Ocean. ARHC has explored the challenges of surveying and mapping the extensive uncharted waters of the Arctic marine environment and the feasible roles of public-private partnerships in this effort. In June 2011, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)—a specialized UN agency focusing on weather, climate, and hydrology—established (in concert with IMO and IHO) five new WMO Arctic meteorological areas (METAREAS) covering Canada, Norway, and Russia and took responsibility for providing services in the new regions. The International Ice Charting Working Group, a forum of the national ice centers, and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities have both enhanced their efforts across borders on sea ice mapping and forecasts, and Arctic navigation systems.

A new international organization, the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF), was established in 2015 among the Coast Guards of the Arctic states and holds great promise for strengthening multilateral cooperation and coordination on marine operational issues. In September 2017, ACCGF held its first live SAR (search and rescue) exercises near Reykjavik, Iceland, and in April 2019, Finland hosted its second exercise in the northern Baltic Sea. Its strategic goals include creating a common operational picture in the Arctic, advancing protection of the Arctic marine environment, and seeking common solutions to Arctic maritime issues. The ACGF chair rotates every two years with the chair of the Arctic Council, ensuring a close connection with the Arctic ministers who steer the council’s cooperative initiatives and interests in marine affairs.

There are many international organizations, along with the Arctic states, that support and promote cooperative regional action on issues of maritime affairs and address many critical and limiting Arctic marine infrastructure issues. These international efforts have been focused on the practical aspects of Arctic marine safety and environmental protection and demonstrate a consistent pattern of close cooperation. Each effort has sought to further collaboration and constrain discord in the maritime world and within the Arctic community.

Rather than fuel a new Cold War in this century, Arctic states and the global maritime community have taken significant governance and policy measures that enhance regional stability and proactively address critical environmental security challenges in a cooperative manner. Future measures will evolve to address ship emissions, underwater sound, heavy fuel oil, ship routing, and other emerging marine challenges. Safe, secure, and effective uses of the Arctic Ocean are long-term goals for the region, and a foundation has been set to continue an era of exceptional cooperation among the Arctic and maritime states, the people who live in the Arctic, and the global shipping industry.


Dr. Lawson W. Brigham is a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a fellow at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Center for Arctic Study & Policy.

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Working with Yanks on USCG Northwest Passage transit this summer, by the excellent Levon Sevunts of Radio Canada International:

U.S. Coast Guard to send icebreaker through Northwest Passage with Canada’s consent

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with the Canadian government to send its medium icebreaker Healy through the Northwest Passage in late summer as part of Washington’s strategy to expand American presence on the world’s oceans, Canadian officials confirmed late Friday [March 12].

Speaking during the annual address on the State of the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego, California on Thursday, USGC Commander Admiral Karl Schultz said U.S. officials along with Global Affairs Canada are planning “a Northwest Passage transit for cutter Healy later this year.”

According to the Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee of the U.S. University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, Healy will begin its voyage in mid-August in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and move east through the Northwest Passage. The icebreaker is expected to reach Nuuk, Greenland, in mid-September.

Officials at Global Affairs Canada said Friday that the U.S. Coast Guard approached the federal government regarding a possible voyage of the Healy through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the summer of 2020.

“As provided in the 1988 Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Arctic Cooperation (Arctic Cooperation Agreement), U.S. icebreakers require Canada’s consent to navigate through the waters of Canada’s Arctic archipelago,” Grantly Franklin, a spokesperson for Global Affairs, told Radio Canada International in an email.

“The United States has also submitted a request to conduct marine scientific research while in waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Canada.”

The federal government is reviewing this request, Franklin said.

“Canada is currently collaborating with the U.S to make sure that the Healy will be in a position to respect Canadian rules and regulations, including those related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, while navigating in Canadian Arctic waters,” Franklin added.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Healy last transited the Northwest Passage in 2003. The last U.S. Coast Guard cutter to make the trip was USCGC Maple in 2017, coast guard officials told Radio Canada International…

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with the Canadian government to send its medium icebreaker Healy through the Northwest Passage in late summer as part of Washington’s strategy to expand American presence on the world’s oceans, Canadian officials confirmed late Friday.

Speaking during the annual address on the State of the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego, California on Thursday, USGC Commander Admiral Karl Schultz said U.S. officials along with Global Affairs Canada are planning “a Northwest Passage transit for cutter Healy later this year.”

According to the Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee of the U.S. University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, Healy will begin its voyage in mid-August in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and move east through the Northwest Passage. The icebreaker is expected to reach Nuuk, Greenland, in mid-September.

Officials at Global Affairs Canada said Friday [March 12] that the U.S. Coast Guard approached the federal government regarding a possible voyage of the Healy through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the summer of 2020.

As provided in the 1988 Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Arctic Cooperation (Arctic Cooperation Agreement), U.S. icebreakers require Canada’s consent to navigate through the waters of Canada’s Arctic archipelago,” Grantly Franklin, a spokesperson for Global Affairs, told Radio Canada International in an email.

“The United States has also submitted a request to conduct marine scientific research while in waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Canada
[emphasis added].”

The federal government is reviewing this request, Franklin said.

“Canada is currently collaborating with the U.S to make sure that the Healy will be in a position to respect Canadian rules and regulations, including those related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, while navigating in Canadian Arctic waters,” Franklin added.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Healy last transited the Northwest Passage in 2003. The last U.S. Coast Guard cutter to make the trip was USCGC Maple in 2017, coast guard officials told Radio Canada International [emphasis added]…

Troy Bouffard, director of the Center for Arctic Security and Resilience at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said the transit is part of “normal business” between Ottawa and Washington in the Arctic.

The transit arrangement falls squarely under the 1988 U.S.-Canada Arctic cooperation agreement, Bouffard said.

Under the agreement, Washington “pledges that all navigation by U.S. icebreakers within waters claimed by Canada to be internal will be undertaken with the consent of the Government of Canada.” And Ottawa in turn agrees to grant that consent whenever asked.

Canada claims that the waters of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago that constitute the Northwest Passage are internal waters, but the U.S. disagrees and considers the passage an international strait.

The 1988 “agreement to disagree” allows both parties to stick to their legal claims while working together in the North American Arctic, Bouffard said
[emphasis added].

“I think this is the continuation of the bilateral cooperation that needs to happen,” Bouffard said. “I don’t think this is a legacy of any administration. This is something that the United States and Canada have managed for many-many years.”..

“I expect that this was received well by Global Affairs Canada, in both of our coast guards and I hope to see that the transit would be cooperatively and even jointly escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as the Royal Canadian Navy.”

Bouffard said he would love to see the RCN’s newly commissioned Arctic offshore patrol vessel HMCS Harry deWolf accompany Healy during its transit [emphasis added]…
https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-ar...rough-northwest-passage-with-canadas-consent/

Mark
Ottawa
 

lenaitch

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The US clings to its 'freedom of the seas' doctrine pretty tightly, but if they were to recognize the NW Passage and all waters in the archipelago as domestic Canadian waters, they would be declaring a position WRT China (who claims to be a 'near-Arctic' nation - whatever that is) but not impeding they freedom of movement, knowing that they will never by denied permission by us.
 

daftandbarmy

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The US clings to its 'freedom of the seas' doctrine pretty tightly, but if they were to recognize the NW Passage and all waters in the archipelago as domestic Canadian waters, they would be declaring a position WRT China (who claims to be a 'near-Arctic' nation - whatever that is) but not impeding they freedom of movement, knowing that they will never by denied permission by us.

If we were smart we'd set up a string of government sponsored Tim Horton's coffee shops across the arctic and bug the hell out of them.

They'd be ground zero for an avalanche of intelligence, I'm sure :)
 

Colin Parkinson

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I seen firsthand how inadequate our Arctic Charts are, funny the Russians have better charts of our waters than we do. I know in the last few years a lot of hydrographic work has been done but as usual we have been shown to not really putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to the Arctic.

 

CBH99

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The US clings to its 'freedom of the seas' doctrine pretty tightly, but if they were to recognize the NW Passage and all waters in the archipelago as domestic Canadian waters, they would be declaring a position WRT China (who claims to be a 'near-Arctic' nation - whatever that is) but not impeding they freedom of movement, knowing that they will never by denied permission by us.
If I remember correctly that is already the status quo, and why they set it up that way several, several decades ago.

If Canada went along and recognized it as international waters, it would allow the Chinese and Russians to sail ships through there legally. The same way the US sails between China and Taiwan now.

The reason the NW Passage isn’t international waters is precisely because of what you suggested. They know they can access it anytime without question, but nobody else can. (Unless sub surface.)

Smarter politicians than the current lot made some good decisions way back when, that we benefit from today ☺️👍🏻


(Anybody notice how quickly Pompeo STFU about that suggestion of his, after he made it? Almost like someone took him aside and explained some things to him) 😅🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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