Winter might seem many hot days away, but for the airmen at Thule AB, Greenland—700 miles north of the Arctic Circle—it’s never far away. Every July, the base receives most of its supplies for the year when ice breakers can finally make it through the ice-covered Baffin Bay, according to a 21st Space Wing release. The annual military sealift operation, Pacer Goose, supports military members and civilians. “Airlift in and out of Thule is severely limited” because of the base’s remote location and aircraft availability, said SrA. Kurt Lantz, 821st Air Base Group executive officer, according to the release. For that reason, the bi-weekly flights are used to transport people, fresh produce, and needed spare parts. The ships are used for the substantial necessities. During the mission, the 591-foot MT Maersk Peary unloaded of 6.9 million gallons of JP-8 jet fuel, and the 440-foot MV SLNC Corsica delivered three? million pounds of bedding and other supplies.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.