The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing at Scotia, N.Y., has flown the final sortie this year for Operation Deep Freeze, capping a season of records compiled by the ANG unit and the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB, Wash. Combined the ANG’s LC-130s and a McChord C-17 broke previous mission and cargo records, flying supplies and personnel. The C-17 flew 51 missions from New Zealand to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, hauling more than three million pounds of supplies and 4,739 passengers. The ski-equipped LC-130s flew supplies and personnel within Antarctica, totaling 466 on-continent missions and 377 to the South Pole. The ANG unit moved 14.4 million pounds of cargo.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.