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Time tossed

Time tossed
a short story

They told us not to go into the DYE site during our initial briefing because it was unsafe. There were other reasons given; although, I can’t recall them. Radiation? Monsters? But after we got stranded, we wandered. Thirty minutes of snowshoeing on the hard snow seemed little distance away from the camp, still on the flat horizon. I followed Neil in a sliding tumble, up and over the bank, down to the ladder. When we stood hunched at the bottom of a snow bowl, the sudden, dim light temporarily blinded me after coming out of the bright arctic landscape. Neil snickered at the metal ladder leading up to a steel hatch as every rung except the top four sunk into the miles of solid ice below. There was no telling how far it descended. Before climbing, I took one last look at a snowy circle surrounding the raised structure and steel support columns like an oil rig on a frozen ocean. My thick boots barely fit between the rust-layered, round, metal rungs, up through the opening at shoulder height into a black hallway full of musty chilled air and snowdrifts.

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New York Air Guard supports far-reaching science missions

CAMP SUMMIT, Greenland — The gray and orange LC-130 Hercules, one of the world’s largest cargo aircraft with skis, touched down 10,600 feet above sea level onto the frozen ice sheet here July 24, continuing an airlift mission that serves as the only supply line for some of the world’s leading scientists studying our planet.

After circling the Arctic outpost to view the airfield’s conditions, the aircraft landed inside a row of bamboo poles with black nylon flags that marked a “ski-way” and gently slid to a stop like an overloaded dump truck hydroplaning down an icy highway.

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Missouri Guard airlifts near North Pole

The author, Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, photojournalist for the National Guard Bureau, embeds with the Missouri Air National Guard during airlift operations at Kulusuk Airport, Greenland, July 25, 2007. 

 

They have deployed and airlifted cargo around the world, but never above the Arctic Circle. This was the farthest north they had ever flown, they said.

Airmen from the Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing deployed to the world’s largest island — Greenland — from July 23 to 27 to support airlift missions for the National Science Foundation and the New York Air Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing.