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Posted: 1/3/2005 6:56:08 PM EDT
I'm going to being spending a month at Eielson AFB (attending a F-16 training course) starting Feb. 14 and was wondering what there is to do there besides freezing my ass off? Any suggestions as to what I need to take to survive the cold will be appreciated too. Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/3/2005 7:13:05 PM EDT
It's not cold in February, it's spring time

What do you like to do?

Catch Chena Hot Springs if you can, you won't regret it
Catch the Ice Art World Championships, truly incredible what they can do with a 4'x4' block of ice and a chainsaw
Catch a dog sled race, probably won't get to see one again soon, hell go on a dog sled tour
Try ice fishing
Catch a hockey game
Lots of stuff to do, you just have to look for it

I have no doubt that you will enjoy your trip while you are here
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 8:58:12 AM EDT
Well now I'm jealous! I tried to get up to Alaska the entire time I was in the Air Force but couldn't even get a measly TDY up there. In 8 1/2 years I went from Hill, Kunsan, Luke, Osan and then back to Hill AFB while I was active duty. If I were up there I'd rent a 4X4 and get out and see some of the area, but make sure you don't go alone and have plenty of cold weather supplies and food packed in the vehicle. The above list by uafgrad sounds like a lot of fun but I love to drive and would be out exploring the countryside even if it meant just staying on paved roads or highways. Good Luck!
P.S.- What monthlong class are you taking up at Eielson?
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 11:34:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2005 11:35:39 AM EDT by AK_Mike]
Most of the things I know to do in Fairbanks area are summer gigs. In the Winter, besides what uafgrad mentioned, most people snowmachine around. I shoot. When you are used to the bitter cold of the interior, and it pops up above 0deg, one thinks about hitting the shooting range. Wish I could hook up with the Fairbanks crew but I'm doing hard time at the Barter Island Penal Colony (USAF Radar on the Slope).
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 1:13:42 PM EDT
Are you doing Cope Thunder?
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 2:08:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2005 2:11:05 PM EDT by 2A373]

Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Are you doing Cope Thunder?

I'm attending a F-16 maintenance training course that is for people like myself that are being reassigned to a F-16 maintenance unit, but who have never worked on F-16's before. I'm going to be going to Kunsan AB, South Korea after I complete the course.

Thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 2:35:49 PM EDT
From your other post in GD I take it you were a F-15 crew chief since you said you had an (A) designator? Much smaller plane to deal with and if you're tall...watch your head walking under the wings! Ask me how I know! Then again if you're short you won't have to stand on the A/C chocks to reach as many things either. I can't remember for sure but I think Kunsan has GE motors and Osan still has PW. When I worked TA/Crash Recovery we had TO's on both aircraft and our 623's were huge with all the aircraft and crash recovery items we had to be signed off on. I had friends that went up there after Korea but I don't know if they're still up there anymore or not. They loved all the opportunities they had to spend outdoors and hunt/fish. I think once you get up there and talk with your instructor and other classmates you'll find PLENTY of things for you to occupy your time. When you get to the Kun' you've got to take the Wolf Pack Wheels bus up to Osan and do some shopping as it's right outside the base...Kunsan you take a "city" bus to Kunsan City and most of the time the locals will just look at you funny.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 6:04:09 PM EDT
You know if you have some free time and a little spare money you can catch a plane to Nome or Barrow (we have a couple of members in Barrow), fly to Anchorage and drive to the Glacier, drive to Denali (2 hours from Fairbanks although there isn't much to do except look at the mountain this time of year).
Check www.alaskaair.com for flights to Nome/Barrow and www.frontierflying.com for flights to ANchorage.
Good Luck
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:08:52 AM EDT
You can still see the northern lights that time of year. The glaciers are pretty much covered with snow, so viewing them might be a let down. Rent/borrow some skis, snowshoes etc. Tons of photo opportunities of moose, really big mountains, ice, snow and the northern lights (aurora borealis) will blow your mind. Ice fishing that time of year is still good. Have Mike bring you some muk tuk.

Always something to do up here.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:50:30 PM EDT

All this time spent in Native villages and I have yet to try it. Once you start chewing it, it doesn't go away it just gets bigger. Even if you spit it out, the taste will linger for days, for some it leaves a lasting impression that won't go away for decades.

I've always wanted to try the meat, actually. Very red and fishy, but at least it's meat. And I mean cooked, not raw or fermented. I got a friend who's favorite is fermented seal flippers dipped in seal oil. Oh yum!

Currently where I am we are in a THREE day storm. Half the village is without power and will be so for some time. Since no one at the village powerplant actually has any skill, when anything breaks they must fly a lineman in from Barrow. However, without power the runway has no lighting, the AWOS (Automatic Weather Observation System, part of my equipment) doesn't work since it has no power and pilots need that info, plus there is a freaking storm on (70+ mph winds) so the village is pretty much screwed. Luckily all our radar stations are self sufficient as to power, water, sewage, and fuel As long as the satellite TV dish doesn't blow away, we're pretty snug here.

Just had to get that off my chest since the wind is shaking the entire building....
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:39:39 PM EDT
C'mon, muktuk aint all that bad. I've had it a few times. I've even been to Barter Island twice as well. That is an interesting place. I feel for ya.

Now seal oil is a different story. That stuff almost makes you pass out. I would like some whale or seal steaks though. I haven't got to try that yet.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:08:20 PM EDT
WTF is Muktuk?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:59:26 PM EDT
Kinda like chewing gum. You'll love it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 7:05:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2A373:
WTF is Muktuk?

Whale blubber with the skin attached, always served raw.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 7:19:28 PM EDT
Love that avatar, texnAK, very Alaskan...
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:49:57 PM EDT
Oh yeah, another thing

Should you get the "opportunity", you might wish to pass on the Eskimo Ice Cream. We'll just leave it at that.

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 2:27:56 PM EDT
There isn't anything wrong with eskimo ice cream

Its kinda tasty in a strange kinda don't eat to much way.

Muktuk however...
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 3:31:39 PM EDT
I googled "Eskimo Ice Cream".
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:45:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AK_Mike:
Most of the things I know to do in Fairbanks area are summer gigs. In the Winter, besides what uafgrad mentioned, most people snowmachine around. I shoot. When you are used to the bitter cold of the interior, and it pops up above 0deg, one thinks about hitting the shooting range. Wish I could hook up with the Fairbanks crew but I'm doing hard time at the Barter Island Penal Colony (USAF Radar on the Slope).

What's your AFSC?
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:55:25 PM EDT
Well if we could ditch the lard and replace it with sugar water to go with the blueberries and snow, I could go for some. IIRC, the blueberries were optional.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 12:42:11 AM EDT
Hey 2A373

We've got a little surprise for you

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 3:05:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoMoAMMO:
What's your AFSC?

I'm not a number, I'm a free man!

Seriously, I'm a contracted civilian. It costs way to much to have kept all our radar stations manned by airmen so it's all run by a civilian contractor (Arctec, AK is our latest name). This station used to have a staff of 150. Now there are just two of us and we are still pumping out the radar data. I am not military material. A Navy friend told me if I was in the Navy, I'd be in the brig within 3 days. He was being generous...
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:28:44 PM EDT
Howdy from another ex Airman who wanted to see Alaska on Uncle Sam's dime, but I never got to.

It's finally gonna happen, I leave for Delta Junction and Fort Greely next Thursday and will be there for three weeks. First trip of many I hope.

Thanks for the list of things to do in Fairbanks!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 10:11:03 PM EDT

Wind and windchill are a real bitch at Greely/Delta, don't know if anyone has prepared you yet.

Enjoy your trip

Link Posted: 1/13/2005 5:55:28 AM EDT
Wow, what a time to visit!

Just remember, this is the winter extreme. As bad as you may think it is, it's just that extremely awesome in the summer.

I'm confident you'll leave here with some good stories to take back, some of which may even be believed. Pictures help.
Link Posted: 1/13/2005 8:26:35 AM EDT
I lived in Kansas for a long time, and am familiar with below zero and 45 mph wind. I imagine that FTG will be like a Kansas winter on steroids! <G>

We've been thru some training and are issued a winter survival kit when we leave Fairbanks. I work with a lot of California boys, and none of them want anything to do with Alaska. Me, I think it's gonna be quite the adventure!!!
Link Posted: 1/13/2005 10:32:51 AM EDT
Sounds like you are going to enjoy being in Alaska, if you are driving just watchout for the Moose.
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