Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Not everyone shares my love of the 10mm Auto and the Glock 20, so it's always nice to find some like minded people in the field. Let's take a look at what it takes to be a member of the Slaedepatruljen Sirius, or the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol-
This very special unit maintains a permanent military presence in the arctic regions of North/Northeast Greenland. It's origins can be traced back to the WWII experience with "Operation Resolute", where a guerilla-force of hunters tracked and eliminated German meteorological stations. These stations would have provided vital weather forecasts to the German air force and navy.
In its present form, Sirius is based on small two man patrols with a dog sledge and 11 dogs. The service time is 25 months without any leave and the only outside contact, besides by radio, is the annual supply ship. The main patrolling activity is carried out in the 4 month winter period, where wind speeds of 100 knots or temperatures below -40 can occur. Under these conditions, the patrols must cover several thousand kilometers to complete their designated routes. This objective can only be achieved by using dogsleds, as snowmobiles would be noisy, require vast amounts of fuel, break down and be unable to warn against polar bears. Ultimately: You can't eat a snowmobile in a survival situation!
The weapons carried also reflect the harsh conditions. Only bolt-action rifles (M17/M53) performs reliably. The standard SIG210 Neuhausen sidearm was recently replaced by the 10mm Glock 20, as the stopping power of multiple 9mm rounds proved to be insufficient against a polar bear. The members are recruited from the regular services and must be sergeants at least. They may not be married or otherwise engaged and the selection procedure stresses the psychological evaluation of their personality. Of course, they must also achieve top marks at the NATO Arctic Warfare School in Norway.
In short, travel thousands of miles, in the dark, in -40c temperatures, on a sled powered only by dogs, fending off Polar Bears and ICE GIANTS with a G20. All after rejecting such luxuries as a wife and contact with the outside world more than every 25 months. I salute you Sirius Sled Patrol.