This series on Thule Air Base first appeared in print in the Stars and Stripes Global edition, Jan. 15, 2015. It is republished unedited in its original form.
It's a desolate wonder.
You approach Thule Air Base by banking over Baffin Bay. The lucky ones on the right side of the aircraft look down at the icebergs, lonely in September but increasing in number as the four-month nighttime of winter closes in.
On the ground, the pristine becomes practical: a long runway from bygone missions, the hangars and support buildings at the entrance to America’s northernmost base and military community. Here at Thule Air Base in northern Greenland, 140 airman, along with 500 Danish and Greenlandic contractors, watch polar-orbiting satellites, look for ballistic missile launches and support almost anything that happens north of the Arctic Circle.
Stars and Stripes visited to find out about the mission and the people who get the privilege of spending a year in this remote — and remotely understood — assignment.
Please go here to continue reading this Stars and Stripes special report.