39th OS brings weather forecasts to Incirlik Airmen
By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 21, 2013
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Severe weather warnings such as "lightning within five", "heat category" and wind speeds are common notifications across Incirlik, but they all come from one place, the 39th Operations Squadron weather flight.
"Our weather shop consists of a seven-member team to include the flight commander, flight chief and five weather technicians," said Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Goodwin, 39th OS weather technician. "Our primary mission is to provide weather support to 39th Air Base Wing units and provide resource protection through timely delivery of weather watches, warnings and advisories."
The information provided by the weather office is not only important for personnel working on the base, but also to the aircrew of incoming and outgoing aircraft.
"We essentially keep all personnel and equipment safe on base and in the air," said Staff Sgt. Mitch Beckner, 39th OS weather technician. "If we aren't here to issue the weather watches and advisories, then personnel and equipment could be in jeopardy."
Along with primary mission capabilities, weather warnings can affect recreational activities across the base as well.
"We supply an 'eyes forward' approach with our two collaborating weather agencies at Kapaun Air Station, Germany and Air Force Weather Agency at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska," Goodwin said. "Our weather products are ultimately integrated into wing operations, flight planning, work schedules and recreational activities. Locations such as the base pool and golf course are affected by 'lightning within five miles' warnings."
The weather team here has worked tirelessly over the past 12 to18 months to correct several problem areas by streamlining every aspect of the Incirlik weather flight, said Goodwin.
"This weather office is poised to meet all weather requests necessary to support the mission of the 39th Air Base Wing," Goodwin stated. "The changes made make us unique among Air Force weather flights and at the forefront of an ever-changing career field. As experienced weather technicians, we've worked as a team to confront these new advancements, transforming our footprint on this base. We've done this by eliminating operation redundancies, such as dual surface weather observations and forecasts, and realigning military customer requirements with congruent native products."
With all the changes and updates to this career field it's important to enjoy the job, said Beckner.
"I really enjoy the science behind all the weather," Beckner said. "Weather is a very technical job and there is a lot of science associated with it. I like to learn new things about how the atmosphere is made up and how it works, and about the weather patterns. Applying weather knowledge to keep assets safe is really what I enjoy the most."