Schenectady County

Guardsmen loan giant ski to Proctor’s

Air National Guardsmen from the 109th Airlift Wing helped move one of the enormous skis from an LC-1
PHOTOGRAPHER:

There aren’t many skis in the world that require a forklift and nearly a dozen Air National Guard soldiers to move.

But when the ski is more than 20 feet long, 5 feet wide and weighs more than a compact automobile, it’s usually good to have a moving crew on hand. Guardsmen from the 109th Airlift Wing helped move one of the enormous skis from an LC-130 Hercules into Proctors, where it will be displayed for the next year.

The ski represents a partnership between Proctors and the 109th while the film “Antarctica” is aired at the iWerks theater. In conjunction with the films, the guard will coordinate weekly trips to their base in Glenville so students can see the planes in person.

Lt. Col. George Alston said the purpose of the program is to bolster awareness of the 109th’s unique mission and the aircraft it employ in Antarctica. Oftentimes, he said, area residents aren’t aware that the world’s largest ski-equipped cargo aircraft originate from Schenectady County.

“It’s incredible, as you travel the world, how many people know about the ski-mounted planes,” he said today as the ski was being installed outside the theater. “But when you’re here in Schenectady, not many people do.”

The 109th also announced it has been awarded the prestigious Spaatz Trophy by the National Guard Association of the United States. The honor is bestowed onto the nation’s top Air National Guard unit.

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