April 3, 2008 at 10:51 am 1 comment

Last night I drove to the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport to visit with my little brother who had a layover on his way to Greenland. He is going to Thule AFB in Greenland for the next 10 months. I asked him what was there and he said nothing. Basically it is a satellite base. From their web site:

The primary mission of BMEWS Site I is to provide early warning of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and Sea Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) attacks against the continental United States and Canada.

Where is Thule?

Thule Air Base is the United States Air Force’s northernmost base (76 32′ North latitude, 68 50′ West longitude). We are located 695 miles North of the Arctic Circle, and 947 miles south of the North Pole on the Northwest side of the island of Greenland. The base is approximately 550 miles east of the North Magnetic Pole.

Thule is locked in by ice 9 months out of the year. Each summer an American or Canadian ship breaks up the ice in North Star Bay and clears the way for the American, Canadian, and Danish cargo ships to bring in the annual resupply during the “port season.” The bay is frozen again by mid-October.

There is no “local town.” The closest Inuit (native Eskimo) village, Qaanaaq, is 65 miles away. There is no “off-base” except for the bay, the ice cap, and miles and miles of rock.

Average Temp
Jan through Mid April – below 0 F to as low as minus 40 F
May – 0 F to 25 F (by the end of the month)
June – 35 F
Jul – 40 F
July, the warmest month, – 60 F or more
Aug – 39 F
Sep – 30 F to 18F (by the end of the month)
Oct – 13
Nov through Dec – single digits falling to well below 0 F

We experience twenty-four hours of sunlight from early April until late August. Total darkness usually starts around the third week of November and can last until the first brief sunrise, in February.

Sounds like fun huh? Anyone up for a road trip?


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. steve  |  April 11, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Chuck it seems like you did your research on my base. The temperatures appear very cold but are actually 20 degrees warmer due to having no humidity here. Things are well here. I miss Misti and the kids alot. Stay well and let me know what you find out for me on a labtop.


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