by Tech. Sgt. Jared Marquis
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
7/22/2015 - THULE AIR BASE, Greenland -- Her
Majesty The Queen of Denmark Margrethe II, accompanied by the Premier
of Greenland and the High Commissioner of Greenland, spent two days
touring facilities here July 10-11 as part of an annual visit to
"It's very important for us to facilitate a visit like this," said Col.
Stuart Pettis, 821st Air Base Group commander. "As guests in their
country, it allows us to enable Her Majesty to visit remote parts of
Greenland, and we get to highlight the cooperation we have with our
During her visit, Her Majesty was briefed on the mission of the 821st
Air Base Group at Thule and learned about the Telemetry, Tracking and
Command mission at Detachment 1, 23rd Space Operations Squadron.
"The Queen's visit allowed us to showcase what it is we do here at Thule
Air Base," said Capt. Theodore Givler, Det. 1, 23rd SOPS commander,
part of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. "Part
of that showcase was getting to show Her Majesty what it is we do here
at the Thule Tracking Station and why our position here is so critical
to the space capabilities we help bring to bear. The Queen was very
receptive to the briefing and we had a good discourse about what it is
we do here at Detachment 1, and some of the new equipment we are
The goal was to highlight the cooperation between Thule and the
surrounding community. The facilities here not only serve the U.S.
military and scientific communities, but also the remote communities
"We wanted to show our military missions, but also what encapsulates our
partnerships," Pettis said. "The hospital serves us as well as the
Danish and Greenlandic communities and assists in medical emergencies in
some of the remote areas. Our airfield doesn't just support military
flights, but also Air Greenland flights."
The Queen was also updated on the research conducted by the National
Science Foundation, to include bird migration patterns, and the effects
of climate change, while staff members from the Danish National Museum
gave presentations about ongoing archaeological studies.
"The whole base enables a lot of research that goes on, everything from
archaeology to studies in climate change, wildlife and the high arctic,"
he said. "As a matter of fact, as a Cambridge educated archaeologist,
Her Majesty funded a lot of the work that goes on here, so it was great
for Her Majesty to get feedback."
Pettis said it was also a chance for the Airmen to interact with royalty of a kingdom.
"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me," said Tech. Sgt.
Michael Ferguson, 821st ABG safety and assistant to the Danish Liaison
Officer for the queen's visit. "I'm glad I got to play such a big role
for the visit."
Pettis said the behind-the-scenes work is really what made the visit successful.
"This was an amazing visit," he said. "It was really a great example of
folks pulling together from all sides, including the many people working
in the background, to make this visit happen."