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​A LC-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing at Camp Raven, Greenland, on June 28, 2016. Air National Guard photo by SSgt. Benjamin German.

​The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing has begun its annual journey to Antarctica. The first ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules departed Stratton ANGB, N.Y., on Oct. 14 and is in staging at Christchurch, New Zealand, according to a release. Two more of the ski-equipped airlifters and 23 airmen left the base Tuesday in support of Operation Deep Freeze. Two more aircraft are scheduled to depart within a week. Between 300 and 350 missions—transporting scientists, fuel, supplies, and medical equipment as well as measuring ice depths—are planned for the season that runs through February. About 120 airmen will be deployed at any one time.