Incirlik Air Base
, an important air base in
NATO's Southern Region, is located in İncirlik, 12 km east of Adana, Turkey's fifth largest city, and 56 km from the Mediterranean Sea. Its ICAO airport codeis LTAG.
Incirlik is the 10th Air Wing ("Ana Jet Üs" or "AJÜ") of the 2nd Air Force Command ("Hava Kuvvet Komutanligi") of the
Turkish Air Force("Türk Hava Kuvvetleri"). Other wings of this command are located in Merzifon(LTAP), Malatya/Erhaç (LTAT) and Diyarbakır(LTCC). [ [http://www.scramble.nl/tr.htm Turkish Air Force] - Scramble]
The airbase has a
United States Air Force(USAF) staff of ca. 5,000, with several hundred British and Turkish personnel attached " [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/incirlik.htm (-late 2002)] ". The primary unit stationed here is the 39th Air Base Wing(39 ABW).
The airbase has one 3,050 m and an alternate 2,740 m
runway, both sitting amidst 57 hardened aircraft shelters.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers(USACE) began construction of the base in the spring of 1951. The USAF initially planned to use the base as an emergency staging and recovery site for medium and heavy bombers. The Turkish General Staffand the USAF signed a joint use agreement for the new base in December 1954. On February 21, 1955, the base was officially named Adana Air Base, with the 7216th Air Base Squadron as host unit. The site was later renamed Incirlik Air Base on February 28, 1958.
Already the early years would prove the value of Incirlik’s location, not only in countering the
Sovietthreat during the Cold War, but also in responding to crises in the Middle East.
Project 119L, a U.S. Air Force meteorological balloon launching activity, conducted operations in 1955. Following balloon operations, pilots began flying U-2
reconnaissancemissions as part of "Operation Overflight" by late 1957. Likewise, Boeing RB-47H reconnaissance missions operated from here into Soviet patrolled airspace over the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and as far east as Kabul, Afghanistan. The base was the main U-2 operating location until May 1, 1960, when a volley of 14 SA-2Soviet surface-to-air missiles downed Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 aircraft over Sverdlovsk, a test site in the Soviet Union for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Lebanon crisis exploded in the summer of 1958, prompting President
Dwight D. Eisenhowerto order Tactical Air Command(TAC) Composite Air Strike ForceBravo to deploy from the United States to Incirlik. The strike force consisted of F-100s, B-57s, RF-101s, RB-66s and WB-66s. These aircraft and supporting personnel overwhelmed the facilities at Incirlik, which also supported cargo and transport aircraft deploying an Army battalion from Germanyto Lebanon. Because no ground fighting involving Americans erupted, the strike force flew missions to cover troop movements, show-of-force missions over Beirut, aerial reconnaissance sorties and leaflet drops.
As part of an effort to bring units with combat history into the theater,
U.S. Air Forces in Europe(USAFE) inactivated Incirlik’s 7216th, which had become an air base group, and activated the 39th Tactical Group at Incirlik in its place on April 1, 1966. The Group assumed control of permanent support units and hosted rotational squadrons conducting training and maintaining NATO alert at Incirlik.
After the Lebanon crisis, TAC deployed F-100 fighter squadrons on 100-day rotations to Incirlik from the United States. The flying mission at Incirlik further diversified in 1970 when the
Turkish Air Forceagreed to allow U.S. Air Forces in Europe to use its air-to-ground missilerange at 240 km northwest Konya, providing a suitable training area for squadrons deployed to Incirlik. These units also conducted training at Incirlik’s offshore air-to-air missilerange.
In mid-1975, the Turkish government announced that all U.S. bases in Turkey would close and transfer control to the Turkish military. This action was in response to an
arms embargothe U.S. Congressimposed on Turkey for using U.S.-supplied equipment during the invasion of Cyprus. Only Incirlik ABand İzmir Air Baseremained open due to their NATO missions, but all other non-NATO activities at these locations ceased.
The U.S. Congress lifted the embargo in September 1978 and restored military assistance to Turkey. Normal operations resumed after the United States and Turkey signed a "Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement" (DECA) on
March 29, 1980. After signing the DECA, USAFE initiated the Turkey Catch-up plan to improve quality of life. One of the major projects was a new base-housing complex.
Iraq’s 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait, the 7440th Composite Wing (Provisional) assumed operational control of the 39th Tactical Group. The 7440th was the air component of Joint Task Force Proven Force, which eventually controlled 140 aircraft and opened a northern front, forcing Iraq to split its defenses between the north and the south, where the main thrust of coalition attacks originated as part of " Desert Storm". Following the war, Incirlik hosted "Combined Task Force Provide Comfort" (OPC), the effort to provide humanitarian relief to millions of Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.
The 39th TACG was redesignated the 39th Wing on
October 1, 1993and restructured as a standard Air Force objective wing.
U.S. State Department’s "Operation Quick Transit" evacuated thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq late in 1996. The wing provided logistical support in Turkey to this operation, which signaled the end of the humanitarian aspect of "Provide Comfort". OPC ended December 31, 1996, and "Operation Northern Watch" (ONW) took its place January 1, 1997with the task to enforce the U.N.-sanctioned no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel in Iraq.
The 39th Air and Space Expeditionary Wing was activated at Incirlik AB on
September 15, 1997, to support and command USAF assets deployed to Incirlik supporting ONW. Incirlik’s tent city, Hodja Village, became the USAF’s largest.
After September 11, 2001
In response to the
September 11, 2001 attacks, Operation Enduring Freedombegan in October 2001. Incirlik served as a main hub for missions in support for the war in Afghanistan, including humanitarian airlift operations, MC-130special operations missions, KC-135refueling missions and sustainment operations for deployed forces. The aerial port managed a 6-fold increase in airflow during the height of OEF. When the main bases in Afghanistanand Uzbekistanwere constructed, Incirlik’s airflow supporting OEF decreased to a baseline sustainment level.
ONW ended with the beginning of the
Iraq Invasionon March 19, 2003. ONW flew its last patrol on March 17, 2003, and closed a successful 12-year mission to contain the Iraqi military and inactivated May 1, 2003. The 39th ASEW was also inactivated, effective May 1, 2003. The Wing was deactivated on July 16, 2003and the 39th Air Base Group was activated in its place.
August 19, 2003, the first rotation of deployed KC-135 Stratotankers and airmen arrived at Incirlik to support various operations in response to the September 11, 2001 attacksas well as the post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq and the ensuing insurgency.
January 6, 2004, more than 300 soldiers of what would become thousands transited through Incirlik as the first stop back to their home post, after spending almost a year in Iraq. Incirlik was part of what was described as the largest troop movement in U.S. history. Incirlik provided soldiers with a cot, warm location, entertainment and food for a few hours outside of a hostile war zone.
March 12, 2004, the 39th Air Base Group deactivated, and the 39th Air Base Wing activated to provide the best mix of required support and, as new mission requirements emerge, to shoulder the burden and better contribute in the global war on terrorism.
outh Asia earthquake
Incirlik played a bridge role by providing support in the relief operation started after the
October 8, 2005South Asia earthquake. With the help of Turkish and U.S. airmen, five cargo planes of C-130 Herculesfrom Italy, Great Britain, Greeceand Franceflew urgently-needed supplies including 10,000 tents from the warehouse of U.N.High Commissioner for Refugees in İskenderun, Turkey to Islamabad, Pakistanon October 19.
Hezbollah-Israel War 2006
During the July 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, Incirlik admitted U.S. citizens evacuated from Lebanon via
U.S. Navywarships from Beirut, Lebanon to Mersin, Turkey. It provided them with air conditioned rooms, telephone/internet access, TV, food and drinks, all for free, while they waited for U.S. chartered aircraft to transport them to the USA.
Following facilities exist for the service people and their family members:
* [http://www.inci-ehs.eu.dodea.edu/ Incirlik American School] ,
* [http://www.ed.umuc.edu/general_info/locations/central/Incirlik.htm Incirlik Education Center] run by
University of Maryland University Collegefor 12 courses per term in departments such as: English, History, Psychology, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Language, Business and management, Computers, Government, Sociology, and Criminal Justice,
*The cast of the film "Ocean's Eleven"
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, and Julia Robertsalong with director Steven Soderbergh, toured Incirlik on December 7, 2001, immediately following their movie's premiere in Los Angeles, to show U.S. service members their appreciation for serving their country.
*Just weeks after losing
Super Bowl XXXIII, Atlanta Falconsstar Jamal Andersontoured the base to thank service members.
In 2007, Chuck Norris visited on his way back to the U.S. after visiting Iraq.
June 26, 2006, Arizona Cardinalswide receiver Larry Fitzgeraldvisited the base to support American troops and their families.
*The name 'incirlik' in Turkish means 'place of fig trees' (or 'place of figs'). The 'c' is pronounced like 'j' in 'John' or 'joke'. The stress is on the 2nd syllable. All the 'i's are pronounced like the 'i' in 'it'.
List of U.S. Air Force bases
* [http://www.incirlik.af.mil/ Incirlik Air Base] at
U.S. Air Forceweb site
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/incirlik.htm Incirlik Air Base] at
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Incirlik Air Base — Incirlik Air Base … Deutsch Wikipedia
Incirlik Air Base — Inirlik AB en 1987 … Wikipédia en Français
Bitburg Air Base — Infobox Military Structure name=Bitburg Air Base partof= location= Located near Bitburg, Germany coordinates= coord|49|56|43|N|006|33|54|E|type:airport region:DE|display=inline Location in Germany caption= type=Air Force Base code= built=1952… … Wikipedia
Pirinçlik Air Base — or Pirinçlik Air Station, formerly Diyarbakır Air Station, was a 41 year old American Turkish military base near Diyarbakir, Turkey. It was known as NATO s frontier post for monitoring the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, completely… … Wikipedia
Soesterberg Air Base — Infobox Airport name = Soesterberg Air Base nativename = nativename a = nativename r = image width = caption = IATA = UTC ICAO = EHSB type = Military owner = operator = Royal Netherlands Air Force city served = location = Soesterberg elevation f … Wikipedia
Morón Air Base — Not to be confused with Moron Airport and Air Base or Mörön Airport. Morón Air Base Base Aérea de Morón … Wikipedia
Hahn Air Base — Infobox Military Structure name=Hahn Air Base partof= location= Located near Kirchberg, Germany coordinates= Coord|49|56|54|N|7|15|51|E|type:airport region:DE caption=General Dynamics F 16A Block 15 Fighting Falcons of the 50th Tactical Fighter… … Wikipedia
Nouasseur Air Base — Located Near Casablanca … Wikipedia
39th Air Base Wing — Infobox Military Unit unit name= 39th Air Base Wing caption= 39th Air Base Wing Insignia dates= November 20, 1940 country= United States allegiance= branch= United States Air Force type= role= Air Base Support size= Wing command structure= United … Wikipedia
Rhein-Main Air Base — Die Rhein Main Air Base war von 1945 bis 2005 ein Stützpunkt der US Luftwaffe (USAF) in Deutschland. Er lag unmittelbar südlich des Flughafen Frankfurt am Main und teilte sich mit diesem die Start und Landebahnen. Während des Kalten Krieges waren … Deutsch Wikipedia