The U.S. National Guard is intensively conducting various drills in response to a potential conflict with China and Russia in the Arctic.

(AFP file photo)

[Compiled Sun Yuqing/Comprehensive Report] The US Military Times (Military Times), which specializes in military affairs, reported on the 31st that Russia continued to expand its military power in the Arctic region. In preparation for a potential conflict between Russia and Russia, the militiamen are also conducting related drills.

According to reports, the US National Guard ended the first round of the 10-day "Northern Strike 23" exercise last weekend. Compared with the US military going to remote areas in Canada and Norway to adapt to the snow and severe cold environment, the National Guard chose to test the cold in northern Michigan. Weather combat skills.

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In this exercise, field artillery is one of the key points, and the M777 howitzer is also practiced in actual combat.

In the Ukrainian-Russian War, the M777 howitzer provided by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Ukraine played a role in repelling the Russian army.

Members of the National Guard's 20th Special Forces worked alongside forward observers this time around, along with an engineer platoon to help build temporary fire bases and maintain roads.

Latvia, which has always been very wary of Russia's military expansion, has often participated in the "Northern Strike" exercise in the past and was not absent this time.

"Northern Strike" is one of the largest annual joint exercises conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense to improve the combat readiness of the reserve forces. It is hosted by the National Guard and is held for the sixth year.

This is part of the US military's preparations for a military confrontation in the Arctic.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, director of the U.S. Defense National Guard, said rising global temperatures have made it more common for countries to enter areas in the Arctic that used to be nearly inaccessible. "There will be competition there."

It is understood that climate warming will extend the navigable period of the Arctic Ocean waterways, allowing more military and civilian ships to enter, making it easier to obtain local natural resources.

Since 2004, China has launched scientific research programs in the Arctic regions of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Finland. In 2017, it completed its first scientific expedition around the Arctic Ocean.

Subsequently, Beijing published the white paper "China's Arctic Policy" for the first time in 2018, defining China as a "near-Arctic country" and an "important stakeholder" in Arctic affairs.

The "National Strategy for the Arctic Region" released by the United States in October last year accused China of using scientific activities to carry out military-civilian research with intelligence or military uses in the Arctic.

When NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg visited Canada in August last year, he also warned against the ambitions of China and Russia in the Arctic region. He pointed out that Beijing and Moscow vowed to step up practical cooperation in the Arctic region and form a deepening strategic partnership. part of a relationship that challenges Western values ​​and interests.