Day or night, 39th SFS shield Incirlik

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 39th Security Forces Squadron clears an M9 pistol July 20, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Security Forces Airmen are responsible for administering law enforcement and base defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 39th Security Forces Squadron clears an M9 pistol July 20, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Security Forces Airmen are responsible for administering law enforcement and base defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 39th Security Forces Squadron prepares an M4 carbine for issue July 20, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Security Forces Airmen report to the armory prior to duty for weapon and equipment issue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 39th Security Forces Squadron prepares an M4 carbine for issue July 20, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Security Forces Airmen report to the armory prior to duty for weapon and equipment issue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

(This feature is part of the "Lights Out" series. These stories focus on the operations Airmen conducted at Incirlik Air Base during the eight day commercial power outage in July 2016.)

For a week in July 2016, Incirlik lost commercial power. This incident changed normal operations for most of the base, but not for the 39th Security Forces Squadron personnel. Security forces defenders endured the conditions and maintained security to the base and its personnel from potential threats. 

The defenders were in a state of heightened alert and manned every section 24/7.

“The squadron responded to the situation at hand by providing increased security measures,” said Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Martin, 39th SFS commander’s support staff. “On top of that, they were planning and preparing for any possible response that had the potential to occur.”

Despite battling the rising temperatures, Martin described the camaraderie within the squadron as powerful.

“The heat was just miserable; so the buildings that we did have on generators were prepared as havens,” said Martin. “When you walked in a haven, you would see upwards of 40 to 50 people laying down in groups trying to cool down and de-stress. Our leadership ran themselves into the ground doing everything they could to keep the defenders fed and hydrated, while ensuring the mission was being accomplished successfully.”

Tech. Sgt. Eric Graham, 39th SFS resource advisor, said that security forces plays a vital role in base defense and is crucial to Incirlik Air Base due to the unique missions they perform.

“We, along with our security forces contingency brothers and sisters from different installations all around the world, protect a multitude of resources,” said Graham. “Most importantly, we collectively provide security for more than 5,000 NATO forces, along with a plethora of joint forces resources.” 

Security forces Airmen constantly train both mentally and physically to be well-equipped to answer any call to duty.

“If any of my fellow defenders and I had to respond to any real world events here on Incirlik I feel extremely confident that we would be able to neutralize all adversaries without any hesitation whatsoever,” said Graham. “We have the forces, the weapons and the capability to make this happen while keeping our resources and populace safe. We all bonded together and continued our support for one another to ensure that our mission was never compromised.”