39th ABW commander hosts all-call

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Col. John Creel, 39th Air Base Wing commander, hosted an unconventional commander’s all-call meeting with Airmen from around Incirlik Air Base today. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, most watched a live-feed of the event online via the base’s Facebook page 50 physically distanced Airmen attended in-person.

The meeting was an opportunity for Creel to introduce himself as the wing commander and to discuss the base’s mission, his vision for the base and to engage with Airmen on topics that interest and concern them living and working at Incirlik.

“Incirlik Air Base’s location is critical to protecting U.S. and allied partner interest on NATO’s southern flank,” Creel said. “If you look to the North you have a near-peer adversary, so it’s important to continually develop these working partnerships with our allies in order to defend our interests from anything that might be sent our way.”

Creel’s vision for the base centered on improving readiness and training, while also working to continually improve conditions that would allow Airmen to journey off-base and interact with the community they live next to.

“COVID-19 is a very real concern for our community,” said Col. Sean O’Brien, 39th Medical Group commander. “There are spikes of COVID cases in the U.S. and around Europe … we have to be mindful because it is a very real problem that can impact our mission.”

While Creel outlined the mission and O’Brien heightened the need for mindfulness, 39th ABW Command Chief Master Sgt. Maribeth Ferrer focused on the Incirlik family and the teamwork needed to keep it together.

“We all need somebody to watch our backs and help us when we need a break, because it can become too much,” Ferrer said. “I want to influence the culture here, to make it one of physical, mental, emotional and professional readiness. That’s what it takes to be part of this team.”

The commander’s call concluded with questions from the audience both in person and from viewers on the Facebook live-stream.

“Tell me what I need to know and not what you think I want to hear,” Creel said. “Don’t wait for me to make decisions … I’ll give boundaries, but you make it happen, you get the job done.”

Questions for Col. Creel, other command staff or Public Affairs, can be sent to the Incirlik Air Base Facebook live-feed comments or send a FB message directly to the base’s page. All questions will be answered as soon as possible.