US eyes increase in Arctic operations

Associated Press + More

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — The U.S. military is looking for ways to expand operations in the vast waters of the Arctic as melting ice caps open sea lanes, and other nations such as Russia compete for the lucrative oil and gas deposits.

The effort will take money and resources to fill the broad gaps in satellite and communications coverage, add deep-water ports and buy more ships that can withstand the frigid waters or break through the ice.

There are no cost or budget estimates yet. But by the end of this year, the Navy will complete plans laying out what the U.S. must do to meet the increased military needs.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says climate, energy and security issues revolving around the Arctic will continue to grow in importance.

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