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    New York Air National Guard supports Canadian Forces Operation Nunalivut exercise in the High Arctic

    109th Airlift Wing supports Canadian mission

    Courtesy Photo | An LC-130 belonging to the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing flies over...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt 

    New York National Guard

    RESOLUTE BAY, Nunavut, Canada -- Fifty Airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing and two LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft are in the High Arctic supporting the Canadian Forces annual Operation Nunalivut exercise in Canada's Nunavut Territory.'

    It is the third year that the New York Airmen, based at Stratton Air National Guard Base near Schenectady, N.Y., have participated in the Canadian military exercise.

    The New York Air National Guard team is operating out of three locations during the exercise – Resolute Bay; Thule Air Base, Greenland; and Little Cornwallis Island which is about 50 miles Northwest of Resolute.

    The Canadian exercise began on April 1 and wraps up on April 22.

    Shortly after arriving, maintainers and operations Airmen began establishing a skiway camp to support LC-130 flight operations. The first LC-130 landed on the skiway today, April 14. A skiway is snow area cleared so that ski-equipped planes can land there.

    The team preparing the skiway consists of eight Airmen from the 109th Airlift Wing who are also training four Canadian engineers on how to prepare a skiway for large aircraft.

    "We're the only team in the world that does this," New York Air National Guard Major Matthew Sala told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is a one of the Airmen from the 109th Air Wing preparing the skiway.

    "Our aircraft is the only C-130 in the entire world that has skis on it and can land in the Arctic and Antarctic," Sala told the CBC.

    The Canadians have ski-equipped Twin Otter aircraft which don't have the lift capacity or range the 109th LC-130s have.

    The LC-130s are able to provide up to 9,000 pounds of cargo per flight as opposed to 1,200 pounds the Canadians' Twin Otters can carry.

    The LC-130 is able to transport in one trip what the Twin Otters would need 10 flights to move.

    The 109th will help bring fuel and supplies to the forward-deployed locations during the exercise.

    During Operation Nunalivut 2015 the wing's Airman flew 26 missions, transporting 91,000 pounds of cargo and 49 passengers.

    "Our support for Operation Nunalivut allows us to demonstrate our full range of polar expeditionary airlift capabilities in a joint U.S. and Canadian environment," said Col. Shawn Clouthier, the 109th Airlift Wing commander. "I'm proud of our Airmen for the great work they are doing in showcasing our unique mission all over the world."

    Operation Nunalivut is a sovereignty operation conducted annually since 2007 in Canada's North. According to the Canadian Forces Joint Task Force-North, the exercise provides an opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to assert Canada's sovereignty over to northernmost regions; demonstrate the ability to operate in the harsh winter environment in remote areas of the High Arctic; and enhance its capability to respond to any situation in Canada's North.

    Nunalivut means "land that is ours"in the Inuktitut language of the eastern Inuit people who live in the region.

    The 109th Airlift Wing's LC-130 aircraft--- the largest aircraft in the world which can land on skies-are used to provide support to National Science Foundation research operations in Greenland and Antarctica.

    The New York Air National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing, based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y. is also supporting the Canadian forces exercise using massive C-17 strategic cargo planes.

    The participation of the 105th Airlift Wing and the 109th Airlift Wing in the Nunalivut exercise showcases the New York Air National Guard's capability to support military operations in the Arctic as well as science research, said Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York.



    Date Taken: 04.14.2016
    Date Posted: 04.14.2016 14:27
    Story ID: 195409
    Location: RESOLUTE BAY, NU, CA 
    Hometown: ALBANY, NY, US
    Hometown: SCHENECTADY, NY, US
    Hometown: SCOTIA, NY, US

    Web Views: 290
    Downloads: 2