Sen. Murphy to learn firsthand about security aboard Arctic submarine

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A Los Angeles Class attack submarine plows through the sea in March 14, 2003 in the Suez Canal. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy will spend the weekend onboard a submarine in the Arctic to get a firsthand look at U.S. security in the region.

Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations committees, will travel with Admiral Frank Caldwell, aboard a Connecticut-made Los Angeles Class submarine.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, and U.S. Congressmen Steve Womack  and Derek Kilmer will join Murphy on the trip. They will stay overnight on the submerged vessel before returning to Washington on Sunday.

Murphy will travel to Deadhorse, Alaska, on Saturday, continuing on to U.S. Navy Ice Camp SARGO – a temporary station on top of a floating ice sheet in the arctic.

They will board the submarine as it is surfaced in the ice flow. The sub is currently operating as part the Navy’s five-week exercise designed to assess the operational readiness of the submarine force while also continuing to advance scientific research in the arctic region.

“I can’t wait to spend two days on board a Connecticut-made, Connecticut-based submarine this weekend, getting to know the boat and the crew from Groton,” said Murphy in a statement.

“I’m always impressed with the skills and professionalism of our sailors. But if the Navy really wants to impress me, they’ll find a way to allow me to stream the UConn game hundreds of feet below the ocean surface,” Murphy quipped in the statement.

USS Hartford, from Groton, and USS Hampton, from San Diego, will spend five weeks on the mission known as Ice Exercise 2016 intended to train crews how to operate in extreme, frigid conditions.

The Navy says the operations help sailors maintain a working knowledge of a region that is different from any other ocean in the world. The Navy is also helping to collect data on changes in the environment.

U.S. Navy submarines have conducted operations under the Arctic ice for more than 50 years.