Sometime apparently in August 2013, the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Seawolf eased out of the port of Bremerton, in Washington State, on what was probably her fifth or sixth deployment since commissioning in 1997.
A month later the U.S. Sixth Fleet, in charge of ships in European waters, posted a series of photos to the Website Flickr depicting the U.S. ambassador to Norway, Barry White, touring the 350-foot-long Seawolf pierside at Haakonsvern naval base … in southern Norway. Thousands of miles from Washington State.
How Seawolf got to Norway—and what she might have done en route—offer a rare and tantalizing glimpse into some of the most secretive quarters of the most poorly understood aspects of American naval power.
For it seems Seawolf traveled to Norway along a path rarely taken by any vessel — underneath the Arctic ice.
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