||This article does not cite any sources. (December 2009)
A drift station is a temporary or semi-permanent facility built on an ice floe. During the Cold War the Soviet Union and the United States maintained a number of stations in the Arctic Ocean on floes such as Fletcher's Ice Island for research and espionage, the latter of which were often little more than quickly constructed shacks. Extracting personnel from these stations proved difficult and in the case of the United States, employed early versions of the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system.