NY Air National Guard Airmen arrive home from Antarctic mission on Friday, March 1

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An LC-130 flown by the 109th Airlift Wing is unloaded during an Antarctic mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Enders )

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SCOTIA (02/28/2019) (readMedia)-- 21 Airmen with the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing will be returning home following another successful deployment in support of Operation Deep Freeze.

WHO: Members of the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard

WHAT: 21 Citizen Airmen of the Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing will be returning home following the Wing's 31st season supporting Operation Deep Freeze-- the Department of Defense support for Antarctic research-- via a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, New York.

WHEN: 11:45 a.m., Friday, March 1, 2019

WHERE: 109th Airlift Wing, 1 Air National Guard Rd., Scotia, NY, 12302

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.