Fit, Focused, and Fighting: Supporting the Mission of the 39th Air Base Wing

  • Published
  • By Col. Eric Beene
  • 39th Air Base Wing commander
The 39th Air Base Wing's mission is to support and protect U.S. and NATO assets and people throughout Turkey while providing a full spectrum of capabilities to the warfighter. 

I think the mission statement can be a little hard to understand; so, what does it mean? It means every member of team Incirlik doing his or her job to the best of their abilities down to the flight and individual levels. Every Airman on this base is essential to this mission. I need everyone ready to do their part to carry this wing to success every day. 

To make sure that we are all ready to contribute our best for the Air Force, Chief Ellis and I have come up with a slogan: We need you fit, focused and fighting for what's right. Let me explain each of the three. 


Being fit means being and staying mentally, physically and spiritually fit in order to support the mission, the Air Force and your family.
Mentally fit means you have the knowledge or know where to find it in order to accomplish your job. You have the confidence to carry out your tasks and know you will complete them with excellence. 

This wing has outstanding resources to improve your mental fitness. We need you mentally fit to ensure you have the knowledge you need to be a successful Airman--this isn't limited to the skills you need for your specific work function. It also includes broader education to ensure you are able to lead in diverse environments, with a skill for reasoning and continuously improving yourself and your work center. Don't let your assignment go by without finishing your CCAF or masters and taking care of professional military education. 

Physically fit means maintaining good health and being able to accomplish your mission physically while in garrison or when called upon to deploy. We've got a superb running program here, and our fitness center is among the best, with generous open hours (5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends). Make sure you take the time to stay physically fit. 

Spiritually fit means building and maintaining the moral balance we all need to be able to execute the mission every day. We've got a great chaplain program here, with a growing single Airman's ministry. There are also many other activities and opportunities that can help you get your inner balance right: the Military Family Life Coordinator, the Family Advocacy Program, and Mental Health. You can learn Tai Chi, take a yoga class, or simply confide in a friend. Please take advantage of all of our resources to stay spiritually fit. 


The primary focus for all our Airmen must be the wing's mission, and that means carrying out our jobs with excellence, all the time. There will be different aspects to focus on at different times. During inspections we must focus on showing that each and every one of us can carry out our part of the mission safely, securely, and reliably, with excellence. 

The success of our mission relies on compliance and attention to detail - a zero defect mentality - to succeed and achieve safe, secure and reliable operations. This requires a steady focus from every member of Team Incirlik. The Air Force and our nation depend on and expect nothing less from its Airmen. 

There is also a time to focus on family and friends, on the support system that sustains us day-to-day. In the business we are in, there can be a lot of pressure to get it right the first time and every time, and that's for good reason. But there's rarely a good reason to bring that pressure home to your family, or to shut off contact with family that's not here with you. 

When you do have time, take a moment to focus on your family, whether by spending time with your spouse and children, or calling or video-chatting with family and friends back in the States--they will help make you a better Airman. 

Fighting for What's Right 

This means practicing, promoting and enforcing standards in all things. It means caring in all things, being proactive rather than reactive. It means not compromising standards just to have an easier way. It means finding where we are falling short and fixing it - not accepting what we know is less than our best. It means identifying problems, fixing them on the spot or letting our supervisors know when we can't fix them, and sticking to it until it gets fixed. It will take no small amount of physical, mental and moral courage and energy to make what is wrong, right, but that's the only way we'll succeed as a team.
Once again, the 39th Air Base Wing's mission is to support and protect U.S. and NATO assets and people throughout Turkey while providing a full spectrum of capabilities to the warfighter, and that means each of us doing our job. I know that when we are fit, focused and fighting for what's right, we can't help but succeed and excel at this mission!