INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Thirty Turkish medical staff members from Acıbadem and Medline hospitals in Adana participated in a base tour of Incirlik Air Base Oct. 25, 2021.
This was the first base tour offered to local community members in over 10 years and provided visitors an opportunity to learn how they directly enable the 39th Air Base Wing’s mission.
“We are excited to open our doors to community health care partners to thank them for everything they do in support of our wing,” said Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th ABW commander. “Strong cooperation with our Turkish allies and community partners is crucial to our continued mission success, and events such as this help reinforce these connections.”
The tour included a range of medical professionals from two local hospitals that collaborate with the 39th Medical Group to provide care to members of the 39th ABW.
“Our two primary referral sites are Acıbadem and Medline, which see our members from the 39th ABW and mission partners. Airmen typically are only seen when they are hurt or are in need of a higher level of care,” said Col. Bradley Weast, 39th MDG commander. “We felt the tour was an opportunity to expose our Turkish partners to the mission, which can provide better context, collaboration opportunities and ultimately create a better care continuum. Simply put, we deliver even better trusted care together than we do separately.”
During the tour, the group attended demonstrations from the 39th Weapons System Security Group, 39th Mission Support Group, 384th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, U.S. Army Task Force Black Cat and the Turkish Air Force 10th Tanker Base, which launched F-16s and performed aerial maneuvers. In addition to the demonstrations, guests also explored inside a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft
“The members from the local hospitals were excited to learn firsthand what we do and how they contribute to our shared mission,” Weast mentioned. “Even our Airmen who are removed from some of the day-to-day operations had a sense of pride in the mission they support.”
The 39th MDG is eager to continually foster connections with their Turkish health care partners.
“We will and must continue to build on this foundation of friendship and professional collaboration,” Weast explained. “Being a referral site is great, but when you have a partnership with people who know how best to support readiness, it is priceless. We owe that to our Airmen and to those who will follow us at the medical group.”