Incirlik TMO always on the go

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alex Martinez
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Hustle and bustle is expected from an office like this -- papers flying from one hand to another; its service representatives calling, "How can I help you?" over the voices of a packed waiting area; constant keyboard tapping and phones ringing off the hook.

For this traffic management office, which supports Incirlik Air Base and three tenant units throughout Turkey, busy is its business, and the uniqueness of its mission is unlike any other in the Air Force.

From strict customs guidelines to the infamous, but necessary, beyanname, there are many additional procedures the office has to follow to ship and receive base members' personal property.

Tech. Sgt. Nejah Vickers, the 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron TMO noncommissioned officer in charge, said issues such as black marketing contribute to the guidelines they must follow.

Beyanname, pronounced (bay-ah-nohmee), is a written declaration between Department of Defense-sponsored personnel and the Turkish government that provides customs control of certain personal items brought into the country.

The program enables Turkish customs to control the disposition of vehicles and other items such as stereos, televisions, microwaves, furniture sets and anything valued at more than €300. When a base member's shipment arrives, a Turkish customs inspector or a representative lists beyanname items. The items on the declaration must leave the country with its owner or be transferred to an authorized person. Even if an item declared on the beyanname is damaged, it must be taken back out of the country, or one could face a penalty.

On top of their workload, the beyanname processes keep the office busy, but the office personnel know the job has to get done.

"It's non-stop here," said Senior Airman Melissa Hembree, a 39th LRS TMO inbound section Airman. "There's always something to do, and there's so much paperwork. People think all we do is deal with customers but there's so much more behind the scenes."

Behind the scenes tasks such as dealing with the property carriers, maintaining information in computer systems and keeping track of inbound personnel through the military personnel section contribute to the workload.

The outbound section aids personnel with shipping personal property. There's a process everyone has to accomplish to "clear" their beyanname, however, this process cannot be accomplished on short notice.

"We get people who come in and let us know the week before that they PCS the following week," said Airman 1st Class Dan Rudder, a 39th LRS TMO outbound section Airman. "Unfortunately, I have to tell them, 'that's not going to happen.'"

Once someone is notified they are permanently changing station or when they receive their orders, they must attend a TMO briefing that explains the process of outprocessing and what to expect on the day of their personal property shipment.

Vehicle shipments are another feat for the office. There are numerous guidelines on in/outprocessing privately owned vehicles such as TMO processing paperwork, beyanname requirements and vehicle registration. POVs must be registered within 30 days of declaring the vehicle on the beyanname or a penalty of 60 Turkish Lira will be enforced.

The office has custom liaison officers to assist with the sometimes tedious process.

"We cannot do our job, whether it be outbound or inbound, without the custom liaison officers," Sergeant Vickers said. "That is one of the most unique things about being here."

The TMO staff and CLOs work hand-in-hand to help base personnel ship and receive their personal property.

"We have to work closely with the other TMO sections because CLOs help clear all inbound and outbound property," said Muhammet Burak, a 39th LRS TMO CLO. "We're here to help the TMO [staff] with their job, and the people of Incirlik."

TMO's job is broad, and would already be a tough one without the additional processes they must follow here. But they take it in stride, and highlight the brighter side of things.

"It's busy, it's sometimes stressful, but it all helps the day go by faster," Airman Hembree said.

For more information on TMO matters, call 676-6038.