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Guard members returning from Antarctica

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— Members of the 109th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard have begun returning home from a mission to the bottom of the world.

One of the LC-130 “Skibird” aircraft that have been supporting the National Science Foundation operations in Antarctica since October arrived late Thursday night at Stratton Air National Guard Base, the Schenectady County home of the 109th Airlift Wing.

The unit’s ski-equipped airplanes and crew members were deployed to the research facility at McMurdo Station on Antarctica. The planes are the only aircraft in the U.S. military capable of landing on snow and ice.

This is the 24th year that the 109th has supported operations in Antarctica. The unit flew more than 300 missions transporting supplies and carrying passengers during its latest deployment.

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