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Strange Military Bases - The World's 18 Strangest Military Bases - Popular Mechanics

Strange Military Bases - The World's 18 Strangest Military Bases - Popular Mechanics

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Published by Vincent J. Cataldi

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Vincent J. Cataldi on May 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/02/2014

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HomepageTechnologyEngineeringArchitecture/ The World's 18 Strangest Military Bases
The World's 18 Strangest Military Bases
The world's hodgepodge of military bases run the gamut from hazardous mountaintop fortsto seemingly impenetrable underground bunkers. Then there are bases on remote islandstracking objects in deep space and high-tech laboratories probing the most lethal microbesin existence. The design of a base needs to address the immediate needs of a military whilestill being versatile enough to remain useful as threats and technology evolve. We trackeddown some of the most interesting active military facilities and spoke with Brad Schulz, vicepresident of federal architecture atHNTB, about why they're notable.
BY CHRIS SWEENEY
Thule Air Base
Qaasuitsup, Greenland:
 
Background:
Thule Air Base sits within 800 miles of the Arctic Circle, making it thenorthernmost U.S. military installation. Among the many challenges posed by the region'sclimate is that the base's port is only accessible for three months each year, so major suppliesneed to be shipped during the summer. The base may be frozen and remote, but the 12thSpace Warning Squadron operates an early warning system for Intercontinental BallisticMissiles from Thule, while the 21st Space Wing is in charge of space surveillance operations.
 
How It's Unique:
Brad Schulz, vice president of federal architecture at HNTB, who recentlyworked on a dormitory replacement project at Thule, explains that construction crewsessentially need to build on the most stable layer of permafrost they can get to. Withtemperatures dropping below minus-60 F, keeping troops warm is crucial. One of the moreinteresting weather-specific features is that all of the utilities are above ground, because itwould be too hard to quickly access them if something went awry. "You don't bury anywaterlines, communication lines or even sanitary lines," Schulz says. "They're all insulatedand triple-heat-taped." Schulz also notes that all the buildings on the base are equipped withso-called arctic vestibules, which provide 24/7 access to shelter while ensuring the buildingsremain secure.
PHOTO CREDIT: (PHOTO BY PETERSON AIRFORCE BASE PHOTOS)
TAGS:
engineering
,
architecture
,
18_Strangest
,
military
,
Army
,
Air Force
,
Navy
,
Iraq
,
Afghanistan
,
United States
,
England
 
 
 

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