US F-15 deployment supports OIR, Turkish airspace

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- In support of the United States' commitment to the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, the 39th Air Base Wing received the second group of F-15s November, 12, 2015, here.

The F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath, UK, arrived at approximately 5 p.m. These aircraft are deployed to conduct counter-ISIL missions in Iraq and Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The F-15E is a twin-engine, all weather fighter that gains and maintains air superiority through air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations.

"We put the support for this deployment together on really short notice," said Col. John Walker, 39th Air Base Wing Commander. "We're the only Air Force in the world that puts together combat deployments, takes forces and flies them across the world, and then sets up to conduct combat operations. I'm really proud of the Airmen of the 39th Air Base Wing for their continuous hard work and support in coordinating combat operations from Incirlik Air Base."

The F-15Es join six F-15C Eagles from the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, UK, which arrived Nov. 6, 2015. In support of the Government of Turkey's request for support in securing the sovereignty of Turkish airspace, the F-15Cs will conduct combat air patrols in Turkey. The F-15C is a tactical fighter that specializes in gaining and maintaining air superiority through extreme maneuverability and acceleration.  

"We're grateful to be here," said Col. David Eaglin, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander. "The U.S. has a long history and alliance with Turkey, as well as NATO. We've had many instances where we've answered the call for our allies, and this is another example of that."

The U.S. Air Force response to the Turkish Government's request for increased combat air patrols marks yet another successful cooperative effort between Turkish and U.S. militaries. Since August 2015, Turkey has opened its bases to the U.S., giving aircraft and support personnel a forward location to conduct counter-ISIL missions in support of OIR.

The 39th ABW received a deployment of 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft Oct. 15, 2015. The A-10s, a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform, can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, and is capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including tanks. The A-10s replaced six F-16s from Aviano Air Base, Italy, that we're conducting counter-ISIL operations.

"Incirlik is the epitome of forward, ready, now for the U.S.'s current fight, "Walker said.  "We are the perfect power projection platform...we're strategically located on the front lines, with the right aircraft and support personnel to provide assistance to our Turkish partners and deliver air power to counter-ISIL missions in Iraq and Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. This is America's Air Force, right here in action."