After parachuting into the frigid Alaskan countryside, Captain Weston Iannone and his soldiers marched for miles through deep snow, eventually setting up temporary camp on a ridge near a small grove of skeletal fir trees that were also struggling to survive.
It was getting dark, the temperature had dropped below freezing, and the 120 men and women assembled as part of a major training exercise in subarctic Alaska had not yet pitched tents. They still hadn’t received fuel, essential to keep warm through the long night ahead.
“Everything is a challenge, from water to fuel, food, moving people, ensuring the comfort of personnel,” said Iannone, 27, the company’s commander, as his soldiers dug deeper into the snow, looking for a firm base on which to build. set up your sleeping tents. “What we’re doing here is inherent training — to figure out how far we can go, physically and mentally.”
This month’s military exercise, the first of its kind, involved 8,000 troops and was conducted near Fairbanks, Alaska. It had been planned long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it was inspired in part by Russia’s aggressive efforts in recent years to militarize the Arctic, a region of the world where the United States and Russia share an extensive maritime border.
Tensions have been building in the region for years, with different countries claiming control of sea lanes and energy reserves that are becoming accessible as a result of climate change. Now, with the geopolitical order altered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, competition for sovereignty and resources in the Arctic could intensify.
Source: with agencies