109th Airlift Wing Airmen arriving home from Antarctic mission earlier today, Friday, March 1

Media interested in covering return of local Airmen from Antarctic mission should be at base by 9:45 a.m.

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SCOTIA N.Y. (03/01/2019) (readMedia)-- Twenty-one Airmen with the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing will be returning home earlier than expected. following another successful deployment in support of Operation Deep Freeze.

The aircraft will arrive at the base at 10 a.m. today instead of around noon as announced earlier . Reporters wishing to cover their return from the annual Antarctic support mission must be at Stratton Air National Guard base by 9:45 a.m.

Members of the media MUST contact MSgt Catharine Schmidt by either calling or texting (518) 701-4312 as soon as possible in order to gain access to the secure facility.

Media Opportunity:

Interviews will be available to discuss this year's Operation Deep Freeze season. There will also be an opportunity to obtain imagery of the aircraft landing. Time has been allotted to obtain imagery before the Airmen return home.


Throughout the season, which began in October, six LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft and 551 Airmen deployed to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The Wing provided five months of support of United States Antarctic research efforts and completed more than 150 missions within Antarctica by flying an estimated 2,100 researchers and support staff plus about 2.8 million pounds of cargo and more than 250,000 gallons of fuel to research stations across the continent.

The unique capabilities of the ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft make it the only one of its kind in the U.S. military, able to land on snow and ice. The primary mission of the 109th AW is to provide airlift within Antarctica, flying to various remote locations from McMurdo Station. Crews transported scientists, support, fuel, supplies, medical supplies and more throughout the season.

This was the first season the 109th AW has deployed with the entire LC-130 fleet converted to the NP2000 8-bladed propeller. The first 109th LC-130 aircraft to have the new propeller system installed was deployed to Antarctica in October of 2009.

The 109th has been supporting the NSF's South Pole research since 1988. Since 1999, the unit has been the sole provider of this type of airlift to the NSF and U.S. Antarctic research efforts.