R. Lane and K. Berberich
U.S. National Ice Center, Washington, DC, USA
The U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) is a tri-agency organization comprised of the United States Navy (USN), the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Together, the three agencies contribute to successful execution of the NIC mission which is to provide global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and other environmental intelligence services for the United States Government. Commencement of the NIC was established in 1976 when common requirements between the Navy and NOAA were identified and formally resulted in unification of NOAA/Navy Programs and establishment of the Navy/NOAA Joint Ice Center (JIC). The USCG joined the JIC in 1995, which evolved the Center into its current day structure and establishment namely known as the NIC. The three agencies continue to reap benefit operating as one Center under one unified mission to this day.
While the NIC continues to function as a sole entity, emerging requirements within each contributing agency has led to internal agency evaluations seeking to institute a better means for optimum integration of snow and ice products and services within the greater agency portfolio. To better posture the Navy at the NIC, an organizational realignment occurred in October 2015, moving the Naval Ice Center from under the Naval Oceanographic Office to Fleet Weather Center, Norfolk. The realignment was conducted to better address Arctic forecasting requirements. Similar to the Navy, NOAA is currently looking into how its contribution at the NIC could be realigned to better satisfy the current NIC mission, and emerging requirements for Arctic ice forecasting.