Life at the 'Lik: Obtaining family, friend gate passes

Airman 1st Class Robert Phillips III, 39th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration Section representative, assists a customer March 10, 2015, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The American pass and registration office on base works with the Turkish pass and registration office for many different items concerning base access including friend and family gate passes for visiting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pierce/Released)

Airman 1st Class Robert Phillips III, 39th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration Section representative, assists a customer March 10, 2015, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The American pass and registration office on base works with the Turkish pass and registration office for many different items concerning base access including friend and family gate passes for visiting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pierce/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

Turkey's rich history and beautiful culture makes it an ideal vacation destination for family and friends of service members stationed here. However, there are some important base access requirements service members must consider prior to their family members booking their tickets to visit Incirlik.

The 39th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration office is the main hub for visitation and base access guides, which outline specific requirements to help in the family and friend pass process. These guides and processes include passes specifically for friend passes for Americans and first-degree Turkish relatives, third country national passes, and Turkish friend passes. It is important to note that each pass has special requirements and takes a different amount of times to process.  Here are the specific requirements for each:

1. Friend gate passes

A gate pass for an American or a first-degree Turkish relative friend takes up to seven days to process and is valid for up to 30 days. To apply, the following documents are required: 

 - A signed memorandum from the base commander
 - One copy of the sponsor's orders
 - One copy  of the sponsor's passport or residency permit
 - One copy of the sponsor's NATO orders with entry stamp
 - One copy of the sponsor's common access card or identification card, front and back
 - One copy of the visitor's passport

2. Third country national passes

A gate pass for a third country national takes approximately 45 to 60 days to process and is valid up to 30 days. To apply, the following documents are required:

 - A copy of the third country national base entry request application
 - One copy of the sponsor's orders and date estimated return from overseas verification
 - One copy of the sponsor's NATO orders with entry stamp
 - One copy of the sponsor's common access card or identification card, front and back
 - One copy of the visitor's passport
 - One copy of the sponsor's blue book or residency permit
 - A copy of all documents that show relation or the friend gate pass memorandum

3. Turkish friend passes

A gate pass for a Turkish friend takes up to seven days to process and is valid for one day. To apply, the following documents are required:

 - Two copies of the friend gate pass memorandum
 - One copy of the sponsor's orders and DEROS verification
 - One copy of the sponsor's passport or residency permit
 - One copy of the sponsor's NATO orders with entry stamp
 - One copy of the sponsor's common access card or identification card, front and back
 - A copy of the visitor's Nϋfus identity cards, front and back
 - A copy of the visitor's General Information Search Check

The above requirements are intended to keep Incirlik AB and its inhabitants safe and secure while still making it possible to have friends and family visit the base.

"The purpose of the system is to ensure that we have accountability of all our Department of Defense personnel and to ensure the safety of the base and its resources," said Tech. Sgt. Jahara Brown, 39th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration NCO in-charge. "It keeps our members safe and provides a sense of comfort knowing that not just anyone can get on base."    

With safety of high importance, members are reminded to consider the time it takes to process gate passes. Each individual pass as listed above have different time tables to accomplish the proper security checks.

"The biggest thing to consider is time," Brown said. "Make sure you are flexible, consistent and know when you applied so that you can keep a running track of your records.  Also, understand that this process isn't like the United States or other bases; you will have to work with the American Pass and Registration and the Turkish Pass and Identification office." 

Although it may take some time and coordination, the pass and registration office is committed to working with members and host nation allies to assist personnel incoming and outgoing, and ensuring people receive the assistance they needed when they leave.

"It helps our members understand that we as an Air Force team have a great working relationship with our host nation allies," Brown said. "Pass and registration is an amazing job; it's even better when a customer leaves feeling satisfied."

For those who are currently stationed here, the gate pass request forms can be found on the S: drive under 39SFS/Pass and registration folder or contact pass and registration at 676-6617 for more information.