HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen of New York's 109th AW begin Antarctic mission

A ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing takes off Feb. 2, 2011, during an Operation Deep Freeze mission in Antarctica. The 109th AW, which participates in the Antarctic missions from Christchurch, New Zealand, is the only organization that flies the ski-equipped LC-130s. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing takes off Feb. 2, 2011, during an Operation Deep Freeze mission in Antarctica. The 109th AW, which participates in the Antarctic missions from Christchurch, New Zealand, is the only organization that flies the ski-equipped LC-130s. (U.S. Air Force photo)

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. (AFNS) -- The takeoff of the New York Air National Guard's LC-130 Hercules ski-equipped aircraft here Oct. 16 marked the official start of the 109th Airlift Wing's 28th season of support to science research at the South Pole.

By the end of the month, the wing’s Airmen and aircraft are expected to be in place at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, participating in Operation Deep Freeze, the military component of the U.S. Antarctic Program, managed by the National Science Foundation.

Lt. Col. Seth Barrows was part of the first aircrew to leave and will be the 139th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron deployed commander upon arrival. Barrows said as the deployed commander he must ensure planes, people and weather are all good to ensure a safe, successful mission.

"The weather is the biggest challenge so you watch that weather very closely, and from there you do your mission," said Lt. Col. Christian Sander, the 109th Operations Group commander.

Throughout the season, which runs through February, a total of seven LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft and about 500 Airmen are expected to deploy, with 330 missions planned. About 120 Airmen will be deployed on the ice at any one time.

The unique capabilities of the ski-equipped LC-130 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 will transport scientists, support, fuel, supplies, medical supplies and more throughout the season.

This year, the IcePod missions are expected to increase from the previous season. The IcePod is an externally mounted electronics pod that provides an integrated ice imaging system that measures in detail both the ice surface and the ice bed.

"This season is seeing the maturation of the Common Science Support Pod with 18 IcePod missions planned compared to three missions last season," said Lt. Col. Blair Herdrick, the 139th Airlift Squadron's Antarctic operations chief. "IcePod is a project by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York. The IcePod project utilizes the Common Science Support Pod to house a variety of instruments to measure changes in the Antarctic ice sheet."

The IcePod missions were flown for the first time in Antarctica last season, and were deemed one of the biggest successes of the year.

The 109th AW 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 Program research efforts.

Engage

Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #AmalgamDart brings together personnel and assets from various commands such @INDOPACOM @US_Stratcom @US_SpaceCom @usairf
Twitter
She used to lead cheers for a @NFL team. Now she leads #Airmen at @9thRW, California. The only thing that's changed… https://t.co/Jri6r0mGI0
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard #Airman is leading a multi-agency effort to create the first anthropometric—or body measurement—stan… https://t.co/2V8ZgBN67g
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Our EOD Airmen are taking over the night and prepared for the fight any time of the day! The 378th ECES's EOD team locates, i…
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Being a flying crew chief on a #B52H is no easy feat. While deployed in forward operating locations, chiefs use their t…
Twitter
#Airmen and @USArmy Soldiers are participating in the virtual 2021 Joint Forces Contracting Exercise. The goal is t… https://t.co/qscGsekWC4
Twitter
Good luck Capt. Westmoreland! #USOpen https://t.co/dE4sq6bnRQ
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, 1000+ personnel from across the nation traveled to Wisconsin to participate in PATRIOT 21. Exercise PATRIOT jo…
Twitter
Check out this week of #airpower on display! Share your favorite and tell us why! Check out the rest of the Week i… https://t.co/CmpDDTMZ21
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “Today we celebrate freedom while reflecting on lessons from our Nation’s past & the actions still required. I am honore…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today, we celebrate a defining moment in our country’s history: the emancipation of enslaved African Americans & a new fe…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As I reflect on this past year, I see that our #Airmen have been given an opportunity to have hard conversations & grow d…
Twitter
Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate the final abolition of slavery and freedom for all Americans! https://t.co/TaqPhVegCB
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 56th Fighter Wing and 56th Maintenance Group @LukeAFB are accelerating change through the Lightning Technician Program.…
Twitter
Quick reminder for some OCP uniform mandatory items: ✅ Spice Brown U.S. flag patch ✅ DLA-issued green or Coyote B… https://t.co/CuOy5CS5hs
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Keeping the #B52H flying takes a lot of work. Thankfully, our #Striker #maintainers are up to the challenge of keeping…
Twitter
The Hungarian #AirForce co-hosted European Partnership Flight 2021 with @HQUSAFEAFAF. Air Forces from across the E… https://t.co/lvI7RiGU8w
Twitter
#Airmen from the @grandslamwing converted commercial grade aircraft fuel into ready-to-use fuel for mil aircraft at… https://t.co/8OY4vBw7x9
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard #Airmen from Hawaii and California completed a week-long series of search-and-rescue training, suppo… https://t.co/U03H6FjFF5
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,412
Follow Us