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N.Y. Air Guard airlifting arctic staff to N. Zealand

Feb. 14, 2014 - 09:19AM   |  
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SCOTIA, N.Y. — The New York Air National Guard is capping five months of support on a mission to Antarctica.

Beginning next week, the Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing out of Stratton Air Base in Scotia will use seven of its ski-equipped LC-130 cargo planes to transport over one thousand researchers and support staff — and 43 tons of cargo — from McMurdo Station to Christchurch, New Zealand.

In the past, the United States Antarctic Program has used C-17 Globemaster III jets for the job, but this year the snow-and-ice-covered runway is too soft to support the weight of the big jets.

The wing has deployed 479 Air National Guard members to Antarctica since the season began in October, with an average of 150 on duty at any one time.

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