SlÃ¦depatruljen Sirius (Sirius Sled Patrol) or informally Siriuspatruljen (Sirius Patrol) is a unique elite Danish navy unit that conducts long-range reconnaissance patrolling, and enforces Danish sovereignty in the Arctic wilderness of Northern and Eastern Greenland, an area that includes the largest national park in the world. Patrolling is usually done in pairs, sometimes for four months and often without additional human contact.
The Sirius Patrol has the ability to engage militarily, and has done so historically. Its purpose is to maintain Danish sovereignty and police the area of responsibility. The physical and psychological demands for acceptance into the unit are exceptional. Crown Prince Frederik patrolled with the Sirius Patrol. The Sirius Patrol consists of six dogsled teams for the duration of the year, each consisting of two men, and 11 to 15 dogs. When traveling, each team carries approximately 350â€“500 kg, depending on the distance to the next depot. Currently there are 14 officers and men serving with the Sirius Patrol.
Sledge patrolling is divided into two periods. Depending on when the ice becomes thick enough, the autumn patrol starts sometime in November, and lasts until late December. The sun sets for the last time around the beginning of November, and in the increasing darkness the winter storms get progressively worse, and more frequent. Getting home before Christmas is therefore not always possible for members of the unit. Around the end of January, when the weather stabilizes, and the sun reappears, the longer journeys begin and last until June, when the ice begins to break apart and drift southwards. During this period, the six sledge teams will cover a large part of the coastline, and within a period of 3 to 4 years all areas will be visited.