Flying with the 109th - First shirt De Vito suits the troops

"The tournament was a lot of fun. We had good participation and no serious dodge ball injuries," she said with a smile.

Kangerlussuaq also has a gym where the crews can play basketball and racquetball, and the 109th has its own recreation center, called the Roost, with a club, a Wii gaming system, a DVD player, couches, a kitchen, card tables and pool table.

"For morale, the Roost is huge," Norman said. " It is our personal recreation center for us. It is where we can relax and be together."

"In Greenland, we have the opportunity to bond with the crews and get a chance to train," Lt. Col. George Alston said. "There is not that time in Antarctica. It is a full sprint down there. We log about 6,000 flying hours in four months down there."

When it comes to logistics, De Vito makes it happen. She coordinates all transportation and accommodations for the unit in down-to-the-minute details.

Although Kangerlussuaq is a small community in terms of population, it is not easy to get around. It is more than a mile from the barracks to the only store at the other side of the settlement and about a half mile to the landing strip. Walking is the method most used to get around in Greenland, but some things are too heavy to carry.

When flying in the Polar Regions, all 109th crew and passengers must carry a survival bag with Arctic clothes in case they get stranded on the ice, as well as their regular gear and food for their trip. Since the extra baggage cannot stay on the plane, that leaves a lot of gear for transportation.

The unit only has one bus and a minivan to shuttle crews back and forth to the flight line, so De Vito has to be in constant contact with flight operations.

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