EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
Some people may consider Alaska’s winters to be horrible. There’s hardly any sun, way too much snow and temperatures are so low it’ll literally freeze your face off. But Icemen find a way to tough it out.
Many Airman use winter sports or other activities to fill their time, but one group of Icemen had a unique idea.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Goodman, a 354th Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance craftsman, and Tech. Sgt. Michael Thomas, a 354th Maintenance Squadron egress technician, came together to research and build one of the Arctic’s most iconic structures, the igloo.
“Alaska is one of the few places it’s actually cold enough to build a large igloo, so why not build one,” said Goodman. “This experience will forever be in my memories; who can say that they built an igloo and slept in it?”
With the help of some friends, the American Flag inspired igloo was constructed between Dec. 22, 2017, and Jan. 31, 2018. The project took more than 200 man hours and 500 blocks.
Those 500 blocks of ice were handcrafted by filling plastic tubs with water, and sometimes food coloring, then allowing it to freeze outside over the course of a day.
“It took a lot of dedication and determination in order to finish the igloo,” said Goodman. “We pressed on through outrageous temps ranging from 31°F to -30°F, snow, frost nip and even rain. We persevered through the discouraging tribulations and accomplished an Alaskan dream.”
One creative idea, weeks of perseverance, and a little dedication, afforded these Airmen an opportunity to overcome the challenges of Interior Alaska and show just how resilient Icemen truly are.