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39th MXS: Maintaining Incirlik’s surety and support mission

Maintainer Airman bending sheet metal

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eric Cote, 39th Maintenance Squadron fabrications section chief, bends sheet metal at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2020. The sheet metal shop maintains equipment, which includes almost 200 pieces of aerospace ground equipment that help support two separate squadrons and three different missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Maintainer Airman fixing a piece of equipment

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Cantu, 39th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment mechanic, performs routine maintenance at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2020. The AGE flight is vital to the 39th Air Base Wing's surety mission, Incirlik Air Base's transient aircraft, the cargo hub and rotational squadron deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Maintainer Airman preparing welding supplies

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William Mathews, 39th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, prepares to weld sheet metal at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2020. Some of the responsibilities the metals and fabrication section performs during its daily duties are managing structural repair, corrosion control, and composite repairs on metallic, composites such as carbon fibers, fiberglass, plastics, as well as the many types of hardware used on aircraft and support equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Airman staring at computer screen

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Bien, 39th Maintenance Squadron munitions controller, reviews work orders for equipment at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2020. Munitions controllers monitor aircraft, personnel and are the focal point for weapons and munitions inside Incirlik Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Maintainer Airman testing mechanical equipment

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jake McAllister, 39th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment mechanic, performs a hydrostatic test on an air-start cart at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2020. The AGE flight plays a vital role in mission execution by maintaining and repairing equipment, which supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure and air pressure to grounded aircraft ensuring aircraft are ready for flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Maintainer Airman washing mechanical cart

An aerospace ground equipment Airman from the 39th Maintenance Squadron washes equipment at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 4, 2020. The 39th MXS AGE Airmen are responsible for maintaining the equipment that supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure and air pressure for planes receiving maintenance and preparing for flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

Despite no U.S. Air Force aircraft being permanently assigned to the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, the 39th Maintenance Squadron plays an important role in supporting the air mission for U.S., NATO and partner nation forces here.

The 39th MXS is made up of several teams who work concurrently to provide intermediate-level aircraft maintenance, conventional munitions and war reserve material in support of overseas contingency operations. Those teams include: Crash damage, Disabled Aircraft Recovery, Aerospace Ground Equipment, Special Weapons and Munitions.

“Throughout our squadron, these sections rely on one another to accomplish the overall mission,” said Capt. Antonio Gallop, 39th MXS operations officer. “If one of these sections is missing, there would be a major impact on the mission, so it is important that everyone works as a team and communicates openly.”

While no precedence exists for the importance of each phase, they all present a unique capability in support of the base’s mission.

The 39th MXS crash damage recovery flight takes on the responsibility of responding to emergency aircraft incidents for any aircraft that touches Incirlik’s flightline. Their team is required to be able to lift an aircraft, restore, move, or fix it.

“Our people provide direction for ground operations, coordinate fuel and other maintenance services for every aircraft coming in and out of the base,” said Master Sgt. Christian Doctor, 39th MXS crash CCDAR and training flight chief. “Our mission for crash damage and disabled recovery consists of clearing, securing and relocating any disabled aircraft to ensure the runway remains operational.”

The mission on the flightline is dynamic, and without the proper resources, it would be nearly impossible to accomplish.

Within the 39th MXS AGE flight, Airmen work around the clock to provide and maintain the necessary tools and equipment for maintainers on the flightline.

“AGE Airmen are responsible for maintaining over 270 pieces of equipment here, which supply electricity, hydraulic pressure and air pressure for planes receiving maintenance and preparing for flight,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Womble, 39th MXS AGE flight chief. “We also directly support the 728th Air Mobility Squadron by servicing, inspecting, troubleshooting, repairing and performing preventive maintenance on their equipment such as generators, heaters, floodlights, hydraulic test
stands and pneumatic turbines.”

A critical part of the maintenance mission, that brings lethality to operations, comes from the munitions flight.

Also known as Ammo, they are the central point for handling, storing and transporting munitions and providing support for contingency operations.

“Not only do we store munitions assigned to Incirlik, but we also handle the munitions from aircraft that have layovers and require safe storage,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Bien, 39th MXS munitions controller. “We are the focal point for weapons and ammunition on base. We coordinate with all the other agencies and monitor the personnel, equipment, structures and facilities pertaining to weapons and ammunitions.”

Even during a global pandemic, the 39th MXS has been able to accomplish each part of its mission fulfilling operational commitments while minimizing risk and impact to maintenance personnel facilities and equipment.

“The overall mission here could not be met without our maintainers,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Daniel, 39th MXS superintendent. “In spite of the challenges we face today our maintenance Airmen have been able to meet what is expected of our unit and that makes them an integral part of the 39th ABW mission.”