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109th Finishes 25th Season In Antarctica

Maj Joshua Hicks, a pilot with the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, is interviewed by local media after flying an LC-130 aircraft from Antarctica back to New York.  The wing has just completed its 24th year supporting National Science Foundation operations throughout the continent of Antarctica.  (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Willie Gizara/Released)

Maj Joshua Hicks, a pilot with the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, is interviewed by local media after flying an LC-130 aircraft from Antarctica back to New York. The wing has just completed its 24th year supporting National Science Foundation operations throughout the continent of Antarctica. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Willie Gizara/Released)

Maj Joshua Hicks, a pilot with the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, arrives home after flying an LC-130 aircraft from Antarctica back to New York.  The wing has just completed its 24th year supporting National Science Foundation operations throughout the continent of Antarctica.  (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Willie Gizara/Released)

Maj Joshua Hicks, a pilot with the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, arrives home after flying an LC-130 aircraft from Antarctica back to New York. The wing has just completed its 24th year supporting National Science Foundation operations throughout the continent of Antarctica. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Willie Gizara/Released)

109th AIRLIFT WING, N.Y. --      LC-130 aircraft crews started returning home to the Stratton Air National Guard base late Thursday night after the five day trip from the Antarctic continent.
     Only one "skibird" has returned, with another five to follow over the next few days. 
     The majority of aircraft maintainers and other support personnel have already returned to their homes and families.  The operations in Antarctica start to wind down in early February and by the middle of the month all the personnel as well as the Aircraft begin the long journey home. 
     This season, the 109th completed over 300 missions, and has begun to perform more and more missions to newer deep field locations than in past years.