ARCTIC SEA (NNS) -- Sailors participating in Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2009 aboard the Los Angeles fast attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) visited the Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station (APLIS) in the Arctic Sea for an overnight stay March 21.
The submarine had surfaced through the ice earlier in the day to embark a group of distinguished visitors.
Flown to the camp via helicopter, the 12 Sailors had an opportunity to observe firsthand the daily operations at the camp and how the testing operations conducted on board the submarine affect the camp's daily operations.
"You're never going to get to do this on any other platform, and this truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Brodhagan, an electronics technician on board the submarine.
USS Annapolis has been participating in Ice Exercise 2009, along with USS Helena (SSN 725) and APLIS to test the operational capabilities of submarines in the arctic.
"The entire dynamic of how you're supposed to operate changes up here," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Bohn, an electician's mate on board the submarine. "The temperature significantly affects how the equipment operates.
"One slight temperature change can make a huge difference. The basics become very important; you don't want any water in the bilge or it will freeze."
One thing both Brodhagan and Bohn, along with the rest of the crew of Annapolis, could agree on is what a great time they had at the ice camp.
"Being able to see the sun rise and set was my favorite," said Bohn. "Being able to see the sun at all is rare for a submariner, but to see it circle around you is really amazing. It was a great experience"
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/sublant/.