The last of the airmen and LC-130 aircraft supporting the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic research returned home to New York last week. Members of the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing transported 3,900 people, carried four million pounds of supplies, and 1.2 million pounds of fuel around Antarctica during the wing’s five-month mission, according to a March 11 release. The wing’s six LC-130s—the only US military ski-equipped aircraft—began returning to Stratton ANGB, N.Y., in late February, but the NSF mission didn’t end until last week. A total of 500 airmen deployed to McMurdo Station in support of the operation.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.