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President Donald Trump, in a recent memo, asked executive departments to report back by early August on how they can develop a US "fleet" of icebreaking ships to navigate the frozen Arctic and Antarctic—marking yet another step in the administration's efforts to strengthen US influence in the region as it faces challenges from Russia and China, Fox News reported.

Specifically, the Trump memo ordered the State Department, Defense Department, Commerce Department, and Office of Management and Budget to review how the US could acquire "at least three heavy polar-class security cutters," better known as icebreakers.

The memo, which also considered using smaller icebreakers to support national security priorities like "unmanned aviation" and "space systems," even flicked at the possibility of a more militarized presence.

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