821st Security Forces Squadron
Published April 28, 2017
The 821st Security Forces Squadron, Thule Air Base, Greenland is responsible for security of the 254 square-mile Thule Defense Area. This includes a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, satellite control and tracking facilities, transient aircraft, and the Air Force's only deep sea port. Along with a Danish Police Inspector, they maintain law and order on a base with a population of about 550 full-time residents including American civilians, Danes, and Greenlanders.
Thule Air Base is located on the northwest coast of Greenland, 700 miles north of the Arctic Circle and approximately 946 miles from the North Pole. Greenland is the largest island on earth with more than five-sixths of its surface covered by the polar ice cap. The ice cap is more than 10,000 feet thick in some areas. The closest town is Qaanaaq, 75 miles northwest of the base with a population of about 600.
Because of its northern location, Thule experiences constant darkness from November until February and constant sunlight from May to August. Average winter temperatures range from 13 to 20 degrees below zero, with 85 degrees below zero being the lowest recorded reading. Summer temperatures normally range from 30 to 44 degrees with the highest recorded reading being a tepid 68 degrees.