Iceland is different, in many ways; but, the biggest thing for me was the landscape. Now, I'm from Maine and I'm used to a rocky place, but these are lava rocks almost bare of vegetation for long stretches and kind of brown/black. The lava in this place was ancient. There were few trees, some had been planted on the base, maybe 20 feet high and that was it.
All of the first class petty officers had the third floor of our barracks building, and our own lounge which we supplied and resupplied weekly, lots of beer and several kinds of booze - it was going to be a long six months. Transportation was a squadron bus, from the barracks and mess hall to the hanger. My office was smaller but adequate. The men that worked for me were quite a mix (not unusual), my second in command was of Puerto Rican heritage, one guy from Michigan, and two Filipinos who called me "Waldo" - that's the first name of "Sarge" in the "Beetle Bailey" comic (and a little know thing). I don't know if maybe it wasn't after the other "Waldo" of "Where's Waldo" - due to some long lunch hours drinking beer.
September was the start of winter, but then there are four or five hours of daylight, by the middle of October it's dark until the end of February. I left with the last crew out on February 23rd, and that day it was daylight for about half an hour. The weather matched the amount of light, the temperatures aren't bad, the snow is in pellets formed by the wind (hurt on bare skin) and the wind blows every minute of every day. Our next tour would be in summer - that makes up for the dark.
|Our work area (red roofs). The International Terminal is the long white building.|
|Out in the yard|
|The whole base (click) the barracks are that group in four lines.|