HomeNewsArticle Display

Wing begins annual mission to Greenland

109th AW takes off for Greenland season

The first of several ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing takes off to Greenland April 23, 2019, in support of National Science Foundation research. In addition to carrying cargo for science, the 109th AW aircrews will conduct important ski-landing training and off-loading operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. William Gizara)

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. (AFNS) --

Airmen of the 109th Airlift Wing kicked off their annual support for National Science Foundation research in Greenland April 23, as about 80 Airmen and three LC-130 Hercules aircraft left Stratton Air National Guard Base for Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

This is the first of six rotations of aircraft and personnel from the Scotia Air Base to Greenland. Approximately 200 Airmen will participate in the missions that go from April to August.

The Airmen and aircraft of the New York ANG’s 109th AW provide support for the NSF by transporting fuel, cargo and passengers to and from the various camps throughout Greenland.

The wing flies the LC-130 which is a ski-equipped version of the Hercules tactical transport aircraft. The LC-130s are the largest aircraft in the world which can land on ice or snow.

The National Science Foundation supports teams conducting climate research across the Greenland ice cap.

Kangerlussuaq is used as a base because it is home to Greenland's largest airport.

During the 2018 season, the 109th AW completed 92 missions, transporting 780 passengers and delivering 1.6 million pounds of cargo and nearly 68,000 gallons of fuel to various camps throughout Greenland. The wing also flew 146 training flights during last season.

"We are leading the way in the Arctic with exercises and airlift missions, " said Col. Michelle Kilgore, 109th Airlift Wing commander.

Military leaders say they expect missions in the Arctic to increase and the 109th AW expects to be part of that, Kilgore said.

"Our Airmen are consistently challenged with a high ops tempo with year-round missions taking us to the North and South poles. I am so proud of the work they do both at home and around the globe. As this Greenland season kicks off I am confident they will exceed all expectations," Kilgore said.

From October to March, the 109th AW supports Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, and in the summer months, the unit flies to Greenland to not only continue its support for the NSF but to also train for ODF.

Training includes flight operations and arctic survival training known as "Barren Land Arctic Survival Training," held at Raven Camp at the end of May.

Approximately 30 students will be attending the week-long course. This training consists of survival conditions, personal protection, sustenance/nutrition, medical, equipment laboratory, signaling and recovery.

"Working in or potentially surviving in the harsh Arctic elements encountered during our Greenland and Antarctica missions make the Barren Land Arctic Survival Training essential to our 109th Airlift Wing members," said Staff Sgt. Shannon Schiller, 109th AW noncommissioned officer in charge of the wing's Airfield Flight Equipment continuation training program.

"There is a real possibility of having one of our ski-equipped aircraft and its crew become stranded in a barren land situation. If stranded, this training will equip our personnel with the knowledge and survival techniques necessary to survive in those hostile environments," Schiller said.

The wing's presence in Kangerlussuaq also lends itself to a growing relationship between the Airmen and the local community.

"This year the 109th Airmen are also collecting children's shoes, books, bikes, jackets and other gear to donate to the villagers of Kangerlussuaq, who host the mission each year," said 1st Lt. Mathew Begin, 109th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer in charge.

"This effort is just another small way to help out our extended family in Greenland. Any time there's a chance to give back and make a difference in someone else's life, take it, no matter how large or small ... I'm proud to be surrounded by a unit dedicated to investing in people and the community, equally to accomplishing the mission," Begin said.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @USEmbassyPH: READ: Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Visit Manila. @usairforce @PACAF #FriendsPar
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, for hosting today’s roundtable with Ho Chi Minh Nat’l Academy of Politics. We look f…
RT @AFSpace: #OTD in 1957 Lt. Col. David G. Simons, M.D., participated in the Manhigh II flight. The @usairforce used balloons to transport…
RT @AF_Falcons: .@AF_MSwim & @AF_WSwim took a summer trip through Europe staying on a @usairforce base for two weeks while visiting 4 diffe…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: About 20 or 30 companies will be selected to compete for up to $40 million at the Air Force Pitch Day for Space, planned…
RT @AFmuseum: Special thanks to TSgt.(Ret.) Richard Tung & his family for visiting! Tung was assigned to the 491st bomb group(h), 853rd Squ…
It's #NationalAviationDay! ✈️ #USAF has been a part of #aviation since its inception September 18, 1947. The… https://t.co/ESPaIUaJ1m
.@TeamEglin #Airmen drive innovation, increasing safety while saving money. https://t.co/xo30mkcHMg
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Callie is chillin’ with our CSAF 😎 @GenDaveGoldfein meets Callie, the only search-and-rescue dog in the @DeptofDefense,…
RT @AP_Top25: Secret's out on hard-hitting Air Force linebacker Kyle Johnson: He plans to attend graduate school, go through special forc…
Staff weather officers (SWO) from the 3d Weather Squadron were put to the test during a certification field exercis… https://t.co/wcGL2Dr2a1
RT @INDOPACOM: Man’s best friend is also his best protector, but even #MilitaryWorkingDogs need to retire eventually. The service members o…
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen with the 375th AES were headed to Travis AFB for a training mission, when a passenger on-board their commercial flig…
RT @AFW2: The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess & build off th…
RT @USNationalGuard: On a frigid commute to work one morning, Master Sgt. John Lawrence, of the @OKGuard, approached a vehicle resting side…
RT @USAFRecruiting: Being a part of the @usairforce means to be a part of a total force. Join us LIVE on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT to learn mo…
RT @PACAF: The closing ceremony for Pac Angel 19-3 #Mongolia brought together members from the U.S. military, Mongolian Armed Forces, @AusA
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Commander @PACAF Gen Brown & I just arrived in #Vietnam. What an honor to be here. We look forward to meeting Amb Krit…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Congrats to @HAFB for winning a @ENERGY award for #energy efficiency! From facility improvements to solar arrays, the teams at…