Ah, the frigid wasteland, an unforgiving expanse of snow, searing winds, and brutal cold. Through the storm, a lone explorer treks with his trusty canine companion, as they make their way across Lackland Air Force Base … in Texas.
That’s right, this photo of Staff Sgt. Austin Craven, and his military working dog was not plucked from the history books, or the logs of the 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, in which a crew of British explorers was marooned on the ice and castaway for nearly two years. In fact, the moment was captured on Monday morning in San Antonio, Texas, during an unexpected blizzard that caused temperatures in the area to plummet below zero.
The photo, uploaded to the official Facebook account for the 341st Military Working Dog Training Squadron is one among several images of service members tending to their dogs during the winter storm, which has caused power outages, car accidents due to poor weather conditions on the road, and led to at least one instance of a “snow tornado.”
Freakishly intense winter storms have blanketed a number of states that are unaccustomed and ill-equipped to deal with the kinds of storms more often seen in the northeast. Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have deployed National Guard troops in response to deteriorating conditions and power blackouts.
As its name suggests, the 341st focuses on training both military working dogs and handlers for the Department of Defense. And, as the Facebook post clearly points out, their mission — and presumably the dogs’ need to get a little time outside — “does not stop.”
It’s not particularly surprising that the Air Force, and its personnel, are so adept to dealing with frigid temperatures and inhospitable conditions; Afterall, the Air Force literally teaches a class on exactly that. Though, I don’t think anyone in Texas expected arctic survival training to come in handy there.