Fly Over For Calibration • fly over for calibration

The photo shows Fly Over For Calibration the P-3 doing a fly-over ramp pass at Thule Air Base for ATM laser calibration before landing. Credit: NASA/Kyle Krabill

Thule Air Base is also home to the 821st Air Base Group and is responsible for air base support within the Thule Defense Area for the multinational population of “Team Thule”. The base hosts the 12th Space Warning Squadron (12 SWS) which operates a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) designed to detect and track ICBMs launched against North America.

Therefore Thule is also host to Detachment 1 of the 23rd Space Operations Squadron, part of the 50th Space Wing’s global satellite control network. The airfield’s 10,000-foot (3,000 m) runway handles more than 3,000 US and international flights per year. Finally, Thule is home to the northernmost deep water port in the world. Also thule is the only Air Force Base with an assigned tugboat. The tugboat is used to assist ship movements in the harbor during the summer and is hauled onto shore during the winter season. The tugboat is also used for daily sightseeing tours of Northstar Bay during the summer. Additionally, for a fee, there is a Danish tour boat that runs in the summer.

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