Life at the ‘Lik: Incirlik Base Exchange inventory

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Caleb Pierce
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The Base Exchange is essential for most people at an overseas location for daily needs and living. However, even with the changes during certain times of the year, some items can be difficult to get here.

At Incirlik, there are many differences with the exchange and merchandise that are not common amongst other exchanges that can cause merchandise to take longer than expected to arrive. One big difference from stateside stores is that Incirlik is a dual-national workforce of U.S. and Turkish personnel, and both countries' holidays are observed year-round.

"Most of our workers are Turkish," said Kenneth Chorpenning, Incirlik Base Exchange assistant manager. "That is why there is reduced staff and reduced hours during Turkish holidays. With the large number of Turkish staff, U.S. holidays don't impact store operations as much."

Additionally, the process for receiving merchandise which depends highly on which center ships the merchandise will also determine the estimated time it will take to reach the exchange.

"All of our merchandise is on a computerized automatic reorder system," said Chorpenning. "We have two distribution centers that ship merchandise to us. From our facility in Germany, the lead time is two-weeks. Items are ordered, loaded, and then trucked down to us in eight to ten days. From our center in Virginia, the containers [traveling by ocean] take six to eight weeks to reach us."

In the meantime, between the exchange and the commissary, almost all of the basic necessities are available for the community's needs on a regular basis.

Some examples of items that go fast during PCS season for outbound personnel consist of pet kennels, gorilla boxes, locks, luggage, packing tape and bubble wrap. For inbound personnel: pillows, coat hangers, bed sheets, towels and plug adapters are the hot commodities.

According to Chorpenning, the exchange at Incirlik is smaller in size when compared to stateside exchanges or overseas exchanges such as the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Base Exchange, which have a much larger inventory.

"We are a small BX so we do not have the big selection of items that you will find at bigger stores," said Chorpenning.  "If a customer wants to purchase one of those items, say a MacBook, that we don't stock, we can request a transfer from KMC or another store in Europe."

Along with the exchange, there are several local Turkish stores off-base that are similar to stores in the states that are comparable to retail stores that may carry an item the exchange might not have at the time.

For any questions, concerns, comments or more information, contact the exchange at 676-6937.