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Every year, the Arctic plays host to ICEX, a three-week-long biennial national security exercise led by the US Navy. For 2020, Destin from Smarter Every Day was invited to join, and even got to board a nuclear submarine.

What makes this national security exercise so unique is that it takes place on moving ice-sheets in the Arctic. Just before the world went into lockdown, ICEX 2020 took place at a temporary US military outpost on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean.

The goal of the exercise is to help boat crews stay sharp and prepared for any situation that may arise in the region. One that US officials believe is vital for national security. The 2020 event focussed on two fast-attack nuclear submarines, the Connecticut and Toledo, that – quite literally – broke through the ice for the training.

The exercise is not about gun-slinging and flexing their nuclear muscles, though. Instead, it's a highly scientific expedition that assists scientists in understanding the ice better. This, in turn, helps the Navy to develop hardware and software, such as specialised under-ice radar equipment, that can cope with the ever-changing nature of the Arctic.

Destin, who runs a YouTube channel called Smarter Every Day, was invited by the Navy to observe ICEX 2020 for a few days in March. He was given permission to speak freely to the staff, from US commanders to scientists from the countries allies. This video will stretch your brain capacity, with fascinating insights into the icy world of the Arctic. He even made it onto one of the nuclear subs...

So, if you want to learn something today, then best you press play on the video below. It's an intriguing glimpse at a part of the Earth most of us will never experience.

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