Similar to its Antarctica Service Medal, the Navy's Arctic Service Ribbon is awarded to Navy and Marine Corps personnel and to civilians (U.S. citizens, nationals, or resident aliens) who complete 28 days above the Arctic Circle after January 1, 1982. The ribbon was established in a Chief of Naval Operations Note 1650 issued by Admiral Carlisle Trost and dated June 3, 1987; the 28 days can be consecutive or cumulative.

What constitutes a “day” spent in those icy environs, however, depends on the type of work being performed. According to SECNAVINST 1650.1H, divers working under the ice are credited with two duty days for each day spent performing those duties. Those assigned to “ice camps”—temporary structures erected for specific exercises or research purposes—also earn the two-for-one credit.

Ice Camp Sargo, built as part of Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016, consisted of several lodging huts, dining and storage buildings, a command post, and four runways (two primary, two backup). Constructed on an ice floe about 200 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, the camp was broken down and materials removed from the area in late March, 2016, a week ahead of schedule. The camp played a pivotal role in the success of ICEX 2016, which provided the Navy with research it could use to enhance the ability of its vessels, particularly submarines, to operate safely in Arctic waters.

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