SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Members of the 109th airlift wing took off for Operation Deep Freeze. The annual mission focuses on transporting scientists and supplies back and forth from the Continental U.S. to Antarctica for the National Science Foundation.

The long trips do not come without challenges, with time spent training year-round and six-day work weeks, throughout the mission.

“As the worlds only ski-equipped C-130s, we can land at places that no one else can,” Lt. Col. Drew Brewer said. “We can go further, we can go deeper across the continent, which is what they need to get to the different locations for their studies.”

The one-way trip from Scotia to Antarctica takes about five days. Operation Deep Freeze takes place every year from October to March.