East Greenbush, N.Y. - Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced that she secured $5 million in engineering and design funding to update the LC-130H aircraft flown by the New York Air National Guard through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act.

“I am proud to announce that I secured $5 million in funding for the New York Air National Guard through this year’s appropriations process. These funds will be used to begin research, design, development and testing to update the LC-130H “Skibird” aircraft operated by the New York National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing. As our foreign adversaries like the People’s Republic of China and Russia continue to further their interests in the Arctic and Antarctica, it is vital the United States maintain a posture in the region relying on the LC-130H “Skibird” planes to transport critical equipment and supplies to counter and deter these threats,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

“This very significant Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Appropriation provides the New York Air National Guard with the investment needed to start critical engineering designs for the next generation of LC-130 “Skibirds” assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing. This first step in the process to replace all ten LC-130 aircraft in our aging fleet is vital to ensure our Air Guard members have the resources they need to successfully accomplish their missions at home, in the polar regions, and around the world,” said Major General Ray Shields, New York National Guard Adjutant General.

“Skibird” planes are the only planes in the world that provide the strategic airlift capability in the Artic and Antartic regions. These funds will ensure the updating of the New York National Guard’s LC-130Hs, which are essential to the 109th Airlift Wing which operates out of Stratton Air National Guard Base.

In March 2024, Stefanik led a bipartisan letter with the members from the New York congressional delegation urging Department of Defense (Dod) Secretary Llyod Austin to immediately update LC-130H “Skibird” planes. In the same month, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik questioned Commander of NORTHCOM General Guillot about the role of the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing in competing with our adversaries in the Arctic at a House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing.