SCOTIA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York Air National Guard unit has begun its annual mission to support scientists doing climate research in Greenland.

National Guard officials say about 80 members of the 109th Airlift Wing departed Tuesday in three LC-130 cargo planes from Stratton Air National Guard Base. Over the next four months, about 200 airmen will participate in the mission that supports the National Science Foundation's ongoing studies of Greenland's ice cap.

The 109th uses its ski-equipped aircraft to transport fuel, cargo and passengers to and from the various research camps throughout Greenland.

The unit also conducts annual missions in Antarctica, where it also supports National Science Foundation research operations.