By Tech. Sgt. Shawn Thompson
10 Space Warning Squadron
CAVALIER AIR FORCE STATION, N.D. — Cavalier Air Force Station is the U.S. Air Force’s only CONUS-Isolated installation, located 15 miles from the Canadian border and 90 miles north of Grand Forks, North Dakota. For about eight months out of the year, the Spartans of Cavalier brace for the harsh North Dakota winters, where temperatures routinely hover around 0 degrees and dip as low as -40 degrees with 40+ mph winds. We also have lots of snow and rarely see the sun.
This can take its toll on the 40 active duty Airmen and their families assigned to the 10 SWS. But after a long winter we start to thaw out, come out of our “caves,” and for a few months we get to experience a North Dakota summer! This is the time of year for the Spartans to start recharging and we’re taking full advantage of warmer weather and longer summer nights to experience all the North has to offer.
Among other Morale, Welfare, and Recreation funding vehicles, the 10 SWS services director Patrick Keaveny uses the Recharge for Resiliency or R4R program to provide supplemental funding for 10 SWS MWR events that help with resilience, retention and recruitment without having Airmen dip into their pocket books.
“Mr. Keaveny is in the business of coordinating and scheduling adventures. We’ve been able to secure world-class guided fishing tours to nearby Devils Lake, North Dakota, where Airmen spend a day on the lake fishing for Walleye and Northern Pike, while taking in the beautiful North Dakota plains. In the summer months we also schedule archery lessons, zip line adventures, sky diving, GO-RUCK light challenges, a guided canoe trip to the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota and this year we’re organizing a team for a Tough Mudder race in Hugo, Minnesota. All these activities and events allow our Airmen and their families to recharge and experience once in a lifetime, bucket-list style adventures, with little to no member expense.” stated Lt. Col. Stephen Hobbs, 10 SWS Commander.
“Through these adventures, we are able to hone and strengthen our member’s mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness domains, the pillars of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness.”
Recently the Security Forces Defenders of 10 SWS’s Mission Support Flight organized a Police Week 5K Ruck/Run. The run was held on National Peace Officers Memorial Day and was dedicated to recognizing the contributions of the nation’s law enforcement personnel, both military and civilian, as well as remembering those law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Cavalier Airmen, family members, and station employees all came out to support and participate, eager to show their fitness level by competing for first and second place trophies.
“In the end it wasn’t about the prizes at the finish. The real prize was finding out we were able to push ourselves a little more knowing that our Wingman was right beside us,” stated Staff Sgt. Calvin Stewart. “I don’t think I’d be able to have these experiences if I were anywhere else.”
Our upcoming 4th of July Softball Game, BBQ & Fireworks Extravaganza is something the entire installation looks forward to each year. Not only is it a time for the Spartans to celebrate America’s birthday and our independence, but it is time to come together as an Air Force Family.
“We have Airmen that are at Cavalier on unaccompanied tours, and being away from your loved ones is tough at times.” stated Senior Master Sgt. Karmann-Monique Pogue, 10 SWS Superintendent. “Lt Col Hobbs and I are both separated from our active duty spouses and children. Because of the incredible support from our 10 SWS Airmen and the phenomenal 10 SWS Spouses Club, who put on monthly pot-lucks and themed social events for Team Cavalier, I know that I have ‘family’ here in North Dakota — and that is an amazing comfort while I am away from my husband and two girls.”
Before we know it winter will be here, but for now, the Spartans of the North will continue to take advantage of our thaw and summer recharge, building those strong social bonds and fortifying our CAF pillars, because winter is coming.