INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
The 3rd Air Force command team visited Incirlik Air Base to meet with the Airmen and leaders who call the 39th Air Base Wing home.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Randall Reed, 3rd Air Force commander, made his first trip to Incirlik Air Base as the 3rd Air Force commander alongside Chief Master Sgt. Randy Kwiatkowski, 3rd Air Force command chief.
Reed’s background provides him with insight to the important relationship between the United States and Turkey, having served as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché in Ankara, Turkey prior to assuming command of 3rd Air Force.
During the visit, Reed and Kwiatkowski had breakfast with ten Airmen at the Sultan’s Inn Dining facility, in addition to two senior leadership question and answer sessions, attended by Airmen from various units.
Airman 1st Class Caroline Mixon, 39th Comptroller Squadron financial operations technician found that the breakfast with Reed and Kwiatkowski served as a reminder to “celebrate small successes, analyze your weaknesses and just keep working towards your goal.”
“The leadership team showed me how the Air Force can shape you,” Mixon said. “Through Maj. Gen. Reed’s stories you can tell he has developed into a resilient, intuitive, hard-working and incredibly experienced individual. He operates from a place of humility and you can tell he is community oriented as he leads – valuing what each person brings to the table and welcoming differences.”
Mixon’s biggest take away from the breakfast was that inaction breeds doubt and fear.
“There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions but you cannot let that stop you,” she said.
Reed also visited the 39th Operations Support Squadron, where he learned about the intricacies of Radar Approach Control at an airfield with a shared runway.
The 39th OSS mans the Tower, Radar Approach Control and Base Operations 24/7, 365 days a year. Annually, they launch sixteen thousand combat missions and are responsible for the control of seventy-eight thousand military and civilian aircraft per year.
Reed was impressed by the Airmen of the 39th OSS provides, stating “this was one of the most remarkable operations I have been a part of. I used to be controlled by this tower flying in and out of here, and I always felt safe and the operation was always smooth.”
The visit to the OSS also brought a smile to Reed’s face, reminding him of his childhood. “I feel like I am seven years old. My dad was an air traffic controller and he used to allow me to work with him on weekends, so it is exciting to be here.”
The command team’s final stop was to the 728th Air Mobility Squadron, an Air Mobility Command Squadron hosted by the 39th Air Base Wing. The squadron, responsible for aerial port operations, aircraft maintenance, and command and control across Eastern Europe and Africa and Southwest Asia is the first stop for Airmen and guests arriving to Incirlik Air Base.
Reed and Kwiatkowski had many positive things to say about the visit. “The Airmen at the 39th Air Base Wing, and the units they host are truly instrumental in regional security,” Reed said. “They are absolutely key in power projection across multiple areas of responsibility” he added.