Last of NY Air Guard Unit Deployed to South Pole Returns Home

Aircrew with the 139th Exeditionary Airlift Squadron fly an LC-130 "Skibird" in support of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, Nov. 16, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Capt. David S. Price)
Aircrew with the 139th Exeditionary Airlift Squadron fly an LC-130 "Skibird" in support of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, Nov. 16, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Capt. David S. Price)

SCOTIA, N.Y. — The last 19 members of a New York Air National Guard unit supporting scientific research in Antarctica have returned home to their upstate base.

Officials with the 109th Airlift Wing say the airmen returned around 7 a.m. Wednesday at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Schenectady County.

Their return wraps up the unit's 29th time supporting Operation Deep Freeze, the U.S. military operation providing aid for researchers based at McMurdo Station. About 500 airmen from the 109th participate in the annual South Pole missions, flying LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft on supply missions across the frozen continent.

The air crews transported scientists, fuel, medical supplies and other cargo starting in October.

The returning airmen were brought home aboard a C-17 Globemaster assigned to the Air Guard's 105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.

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