The Arctic Ocean is a hotbed of naval activity, but almost all of it happens underneath the ice. Yes, the world's coldest waters are almost exclusively the domain of submarines, but it's exceedingly rare to catch these beasts in action. You know, because they operate under the aforementioned icepack.
But occasionally, they pop up into sight. As spectacular as a nuclear-powered sub surfacing can be, the USS Hartford's slow and dramatic surfacing in the arctic is nearly as cool. In this video, the Los Angeles-class Hartford is popping up near Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic during the five-week-long Ice Exercise 2016. ICEX, as it's nicknamed, is a semi-regular exercise that takes place in the Arctic and focuses on the Navy's cold-weather operational capabilities.
We get multiple angles of Hartford popping out of the ice, which gives a great sense of the size of the boat as it forces its way through the ice. Once through, sailors pop out of the boat's mast and begin knocking ice off in much the same way a motorist attempts to clean their car. Then, the crew breaks out the heavy machinery, including a Stihl chainsaw, to cut through the ice to the Hartford's hull, where another hatch is opened. We imagine the crew then gets to wander around and get a taste of some very fresh (albeit cold) air.
Check out the video up top.