The 109th Airlift Wing in New York prepares for missions in Greenland > Air Force > Article Display
AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE STRATTON, NY (AFNS) —
Three LC-130 Hercules “Skibirds” and approximately 75 New York Air National Guard Airmen 109th Airlift Wing will travel to Greenland at the end of April to support national science foundation research.
The 109th AW flies the aircraft, the largest in the world equipped with skis to land on snow and ice, to fly resupply missions for American scientific research in Antarctica when it’s winter in New York and the Greenland during the summer months.
In 2021, Wing Airmen transported 1.3 million pounds of cargo and 32,000 gallons of fuel and flew 910 passengers to science stations in Greenland. They flew a total of 678 hours.
The planes and airmen departing at the end of the month are the first of six rotations of 75 to 100 airmen and three planes planned throughout the summer support season. The season is due to end in August.
Airmen fly from Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotland, near Schenectady, at Kangerlussuaq International Airport in Greenland, which serves as their base of operation.
This year’s primary focus is training Airmen from the 109th AW and supporting ongoing construc Summit stationwhich is operated by the NSF.
Summit Station is the only high-altitude, high-latitude, inland, year-round observing station in the Arctic. Summit Station is funded by the NSF and supports their research due to Greenland’s weather conditions. Located at the top of the Greenland ice cap, it is run in winter by a team of five people.
In 2021, the wing spent an additional eight days in Greenland picking up a construction crew from Summit Station.
In 2021, the 109th AW also deployed aircraft and airmen to Greenland to support a Danish search and rescue training exercise in addition to their regular mission of resupplying the science station.
“This year’s schedule is more aligned with what it normally would be,” said Major Jacob Papp, Greenland’s chief operating officer.
The 109th AW will also conduct arctic survival training at Camp Raven. All members of the 109th AW deploying to Antarctica and Greenland must complete this training.
Some members of the 109th AW deployed to Greenland in early April to prepare for the upcoming season.
“This Greenland season has the potential to be a good season for both sides with the National Science Foundation and 109th in terms of motivating people,” Papp said. “The key this year is to prepare for the Operation Deep Freeze season and line up for a successful season in Antarctica.