Press invited to cover 109th Airlift Wing departure for Antarctica on Monday Nov. 15

SCOTIA, NEW YORK (11/12/2021) (readMedia)-- Two LC-130s and aircrew with the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing are scheduled to depart for McMurdo Station Antarctica, on Nov. 15th in support of the 34th season of Operation Deep Freeze. Operation Deep Freeze is the logistical support that the military provides to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.

Members of the media are invited to cover the departure of the aircraft at 8 a.m.

WHO: A ski-equipped LC-130 and aircrew is scheduled to take off from Stratton Air National Guard Base, N.Y.

WHAT: Airmen and aircraft with the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing head for Antarctica to support the National Science Foundation.

WHEN: 7:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 (Time has been allocated for interviews before the first flight takes off)

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

Members of the media MUST contact SMSgt Willie Gizara by either calling or texting (518) 248-3799 or calling (518) 344-2423 no later than 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in order to gain access to the secure facility.

Media Opportunity:

Interviews will be available with 109th Airlift Wing officials to discuss this year'sAntarctic support season. There will also be an opportunity to obtain imagery of the aircraft taking off for Antarctica from the base.


The 109th's primary mission for the 2021-2022 support season will be Providing resupply to science stations on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Siple Dome Field camp, and the Amundson-Scott South Pole Station.

Normally shifts of Airmen rotate through McMurdo Station, and a typical Antarctic season runs from October through March. This year the season run from December to February. This year the same 184 Airmen will remain on location throughout the three-month support season. 5 LC-130 Skibirds will support the mission form Christchurch, New Zealand and on-continent at McMurdo Station.

COVID-19 health restrictions will require quarantines and longer than normal layovers along the route from Stratton Air National Guard Base outside Schenectady, New York, to Christchuch, New Zealand. Airmen will also be tested repeatedly to ensure they have not contracted COVID-19.

Once Quarantine has been completed, the Airmen will do multiple aircraft checks in New Zealand before they fly to McMurdo Station, on Antarctica's Ross Peninsula.

During the 2020-2021 support season, the 109th's Aircraft staged in New Zealand and flew the minimum amount of missions needed to support resupply efforts. These changes were made to control the spread of COVID-19.

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 Airlift wing to provide airlift within Antarctica, flying to various remote locations from McMurdo Station.

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