Siriuspatruljen at 70
Happy birthday to the toughest military patrol on Earth, the Danish Navy’s Siriuspatruljen, who were founded this day in 1950, reprising their earlier WWII service. They have been walking the beat uninterrupted for the past 70 years.
Made up of just 14 volunteers headquartered at the station Daneborg, located at 74 degrees north in the Northeast Greenland National Park with a substation at Ella Ø (72 degrees N), the patrol gets its name for the typical mission that sees it break up into two-man teams to dogsled around the isolated coastline, waving the Danish flag and checking for Russians and what not while dodging bitter sub-zero temperatures and the occasional polar bear. Just six teams patrol more than 2,000 nm of coastline.
After completing seven months of training, members of the patrol serve for 26 months on the world’s only military dog sled patrol, with just a Glock 10mm and a bolt-action M1917 .30-06 as backup.
For the nostalgic, here is a window back into the patrol, circa 1965, and little has changed: