Arctic Warriors…a story about the struggle between the defenders of freedom and the forces of tyranny in America’s Northern most outpost.
The Bering Strait links the Arctic Ocean with the Bering Sea and separates the continents of Asia and North America. The U.S.-Russian boundary extends through the Strait. At the closest point 2.4 miles of open water separate the islands, thus the two greatest super powers on earth.
The importance as an invasion route is obvious. At the height of the cold war, the U.S. moved to block this invasion route by deploying naval, ground, and air defense commands throughout Alaska.
Eielson Air Force Base was a SAC facility located approximately 50 miles outside of Fairbanks, and some 200 miles from the U.S. border with the U.S.S.R. The fighters and B-52’s stationed there served to ‘check-mate’ those who would consider the Bering Strait as an invasion route.
The 562nd Air Defense Artillery defended Eielson with a ring of five Nike Hercules sites. The missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.
These nuclear birds were a constant target for espionage. Military Police Officers, trained in special tactics designed for the defense of nuclear weapons, were charged with the protection of these sites, and the personnel assigned to them. Their focus was singular, protect those nuclear warheads, and their methods were aggressive. Still, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The Soviets recognized this and directed their efforts to breaking through the chain of defense. They flooded Fairbanks with spies, employing attractive women, who would prey on the lonely GI, gathering every scrap of information they could, in the effort to create a breach in the chain of security protecting our most effective weapons systems.
The author was a member of the Military Police Group that was assigned to the protection of the 562nd and it’s personnel. His novel, Arctic Warriors, is a fictional account of his experiences in this silent war between the world’s super-powers.
The setting is Charlie Battery of the 562nd Air Defense Artillery, United States Army Alaska. The time is 1968-69.
J.B. opened his eyes as the slick slowed, banked left and began its descent. The doors and studded floor were covered in streaks of frost laid on by the ships dash through the frigid arctic air.
The nose of the Huey lifted a bit as the pilot flared the ship. The doors slammed back and they jumped into the night, landing on foreign soil. Scanning the tree line they waited. Nothing; the insertion was undetected.
J.B. thought, ‘their forest is no different than ours, just across the strip of water separating us, yet for me and mine this one is filled with danger.’ He gathered the squad as the Huey raced away across the Bearing.
Now they were alone. Trespassers, come to kill or retrieve a traitor.
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Ken Bangs is a native Texan who grew up in the then small town of Plano. By the time he was ten years old he knew for a certainty that he wanted to spend his life as a police officer. Following high school graduation Ken joined the Dallas Police Department and was walking a beat in downtown Dallas at the age of 19.
Ken spent 35 years in law enforcement and public safety the last twenty five as the Director of Police and Security Services for the Plano ISD. After retirement Ken and his wife Trudy moved to a farm outside of New Boston Texas where they established a home for children who were in the care of the Texas Child Protective Services. For the next ten years they devoted their lives to these disadvantaged children. An ordained minister Ken also served as the Senior Pastor for Regions Christian Center in Texarkana.
A veteran of the United States Army Military Police Corps, Ken holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, a M.S. in Human Relations and Business Management and a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Counseling.
Ken and Trudy have been married 45 years and now live in McKinney, Texas.
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