The Arctic Heats Up

With little press attention, a team of senior-level Air Force officials—including 15 general officers from the Air Staff and major commands—visited the Arctic in September, hitching a ride with USAF’s specialist polar aviation unit, the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard. The 109th AW performs resupply missions to USAF and scientific outposts at both ends of the Earth, flying ski-equipped LC-130s.

“We went up there to see what has changed in the Arctic and what threats and what other people are doing” there, said Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations.

Nowland said, “There are economic opportunities and our opponents are doing things in the Arctic. So how do we respond to it? What do we do? What should we do?”hreats.


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