The New York Air Nationwide Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing launched the primary of 5 LC-130 “Skibird” plane to Antarctica Oct. 19 to help Nationwide Science Basis analysis. All through the four-month help season, 420 Airmen will deploy for the mission. The LC-130 model of the C-130 Hercules is the most important plane on the planet in a position to land on snow and ice on skis. The plane are geared up with eight-bladed propellers for the turboprop engines to offer extra energy. The Airmen will function out of the Nationwide Science Basis’s McMurdo Station, flying personnel and provides all through the continent from November to March.

“With an ordinary four-month season of working on the Antarctic continent forward of us, I’m extraordinarily assured within the women and men of the 109th and their capacity to execute our specialised mission with the very best degree {of professional} talent,” stated Col. Christian Sander, the commander of the 109th Airlift Wing.


“This season is deliberate to resemble a ‘regular’ pre-COVID working mannequin the place crews and help personnel are swapped out frequently all through the season. Some COVID mitigation precautions will probably be taken to attenuate impacts in Antarctica,” stated Maj. Shay Worth, the wing’s chief of Antarctic operations.

Grasp Sgt. Christopher Dumond, a flight engineer within the 109th Airlift Wing’s 139th Airlift Squdron, conducts preflight upkeep checks on an LC-130H Ski Outfitted plane; outiftted with newly overhauled NP2000 T56-15A (3.5 modified) engines. The flight assessments the capabilites of the brand new engines. (Picture by Tech. Sgt. Jamie Spaulding/109th Air Wing/Public affairs )

Throughout Operation Deep Freeze, the Navy and Air Pressure work collectively to resupply U.S. science stations in Antarctica. The 109th Airlift Wing is vital in supporting local weather analysis and different scientific actions in the course of the Antarctic summer season. The 109th’s main mission for the 2022-2023 season will probably be to help science efforts at three science camps outdoors the McMurdo space. These are South Pole Station, Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Camp, and Siple Dome Camp. The wing will even help airlift between New Zealand and Antarctica. The distant discipline camps function aviation hubs and refueling factors for journey all through the continent and scientific analysis in West Antarctica. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is a Nationwide Science Basis analysis facility on the South Pole.

In the course of the 2021-2022 help season, 109th Airmen accomplished 40 missions, transporting 204 passengers and 357,926 kilos of cargo to analysis stations throughout Antarctica. The crews additionally flew 24 missions between bases on the continent and 16 between Christchurch, New Zealand, and Antarctica, together with 4 medical evacuations. Deploying crews and help personnel are wanting to return to a extra strong airlift schedule much like pre-pandemic deployments. The distinctive capabilities of the ski-equipped LC-130 plane make it the one certainly one of its form within the U.S. army in a position to land on the South Pole and distant inside places in Antarctica and on the Greenland ice cap.

New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing LC-130 Aircraft Supports Antarctic Research
A Lockheed LC-130 “Skibird” Ski-equipped army transport plane assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing’s 139th Airlift Squdron, New York Air Nationwide Guard, operates in Antarctica in 2022. (Picture by Jaclyn Lyons/109th Air Wing/Public affairs)