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Incirlik Ab Airport

Incirlik Air Base

İncirlik Hava Üssü
part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)

Adana/İncirlik Airport

Incirlik Air Base
An aerial view of the airfield at Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Air Base
Location of airport in Turkey
Airport type Military
Owner TSK
Operator TSK, NATO
Location İncirlik, near Adana, Turkey
Elevation AMSL 240 ft / 73 m
Coordinates 37°00′07″N 035°25′33″E / 37.00194°N 35.42583°E / 37.00194; 35.42583 (Incirlik Air Base)Coordinates: 37°00′07″N 035°25′33″E / 37.00194°N 35.42583°E / 37.00194; 35.42583 (Incirlik Air Base)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 3,048 10,000 Concrete
Source: Turkish AIP at EUROCONTROL

Composite Recon Track requiring two missions

The Incirlik Air Base (Turkish: İncirlik Hava Üssü) (ICAO: LTAG), an Air Base in the Southern Region of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is located in İncirlik, five miles east of Adana, Turkey's fifth largest city, and 56 kilometres (35 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea.

Incirlik is the home of the 10th Air Wing (Ana Jet Üs or AJÜ) of the 2nd Air Force Command (Hava Kuvvet Komutanlığı) of the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri). Other wings of this command are located in Merzifon (LTAP), Malatya/Erhaç (LTAT) and Diyarbakır (LTCC).

Incirlik has a United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) complement of about 5,000 airmen, with several hundred British and Turkish Air Force airmen also present (-late 2002). The primary unit stationed here is the 39th Air Base Wing (39 ABW) of the U.S.A.F.

Incirlik has one 3048 meter-long main runway and one 2740 meter-long secondary runway, both located among about 57 hardened aircraft shelters.

Incirlik Air Base

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Julia Roberts, and Steven Soderbergh visited the base in December 2001

Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport - Brad Pitt in cockpit of Jaguar GR3A
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Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport - Julia Roberts in cockpit of F-15 Eagle
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Incirlik Air Base in the spring of 1951. The U.S.A.F. initially planned to use the base as an emergency staging and recovery site for medium and heavy bombers. The Turkish General Staff and the U.S.A.F. signed a joint-use agreement for the new Air Base in December 1954. On February 21, 1955, the Air Base was officially named Adana Air Base, with the 7216th Air Base Squadron as the host unit. This Air Base was renamed the "Incirlik Air Base" on February 28, 1958.

Reconnaissance missions from Incirlik

Even the early years of its existence proved the value of the presence of the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, not only to counter the threat of the communist Soviet Union during the Cold War, but also to responding to crises in the Middle East, such as in Lebanon and Israel.

Project 119L, a public U.S. Air Force weather balloon launching program served as a cover story (misinformation) for the true objective of the Incirlik Air Base: to mount strategic reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union. Under the codename "GENETRIX", these balloon launches were carried out beginning on February 1956. Following some weather balloon operations, pilots began flying American Lockheed U-2 airplane reconnaissance missions as part of "Operation Overflight" by late 1957, including on nonstop flights back and forth between Incirlik and a NATO Air Base in northern Norway.

In addition, U.S. Air Force Boeing RB-47H Stratojets and U.S. Navy P4M-1Q Mercator and A3D-1Q Skywarrior reconnaissance flights operated from here into Soviet-claimed air space over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and also as far east as Afghanistan. The Incirlik Air Base was the main U-2 flight base in this entire region until May 1, 1960, when a volley of about 14 Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles shot down the U-2 of the American CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers near Sverdlovsk, Russia, a test site in the Soviet Union's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program.

The Lebanon crisis

The Lebanon crisis of 1958 exploded during the summer of 1958, prompting the President Dwight D. Eisenhower of the United States to order the U.S.A.F. Tactical Air Command "Composite Air Strike Force Bravo" (several squadrons) to fly immediately from the United States to Incirlik. This Composite Air Strike Force consisted of F-100 Super Sabres, B-57 Canberras, RF-101 Voodoos, B-66 Destroyers, along with the supporting WB-66 weather planes. These aircraft and their supporting airmen overwhelmed the facilities of the Incirlik Air Base - which were also supporting air transport planes that carried a U.S. Army infantry battalion from Germany to Lebanon. In the long run, absolutely no ground fighting erupted involving the U.S. Army or the U.S. Marine Corps. Hence the U.S. Air Force warplanes flew non-combat missions to cover allied troop movements, to carry out a show-of-force flights over Lebanon, including overBeirut, aerial reconnaissance flights, and true news and propaganda leaflet drops on Lebanon.

As a part of an effort to bring units with combat experience into the region of Turkey, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) deactivated the 7216th Air Base Squadron, which had been promoted to an Air Base Group, and activated the 39th Tactical Group in its place at Incirlik on April 1, 1966. This Air Base Group assumed control of the permanent Air Force support units there, and it hosted the rotational Air Force squadrons that conducted training operations, and also maintained a NATO deterrent air force at the Incirlik Air Base.

As a Training site

After the Lebanon crisis, the Tactical Air Command deployed F-100 fighter squadrons on 100-day rotations to Incirlik from the United States. The flying mission at Incirlik further diversified in 1970 when the Turkish Air Force agreed to allow the U.S. Air Forces in Europe to use its air-to-ground missile testing range at 240 km northwest Konya, providing a suitable training area for the warplane squadrons deployed to Incirlik. These units also conducted training at Incirlik’s offshore air-to-air missile range over the Mediterranean Sea.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, except during the Cyprus dispute, many types of U.S. Air Force warplanes, including F-4 Phantom IIs, F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-111 Aardvarks, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and the C-130 Hercules were based at Incirlik.


In mid-1975, the Turkish government announced that all American military bases in Turkey would be closed and transferred to the Turkish Air Force. This action was in response to an arms embargo that the United States Congress imposed on Turkey for using American-supplied equipment during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Only the Incirlik Air Base and the İzmir Air Base remained open due to their NATO responsibilities, but all other non-NATO activities at these locations were suspended.

After Congress lifted the embargo in September 1978, and also restored military and naval assistance to Turkey, normal operations resumed in Turkey, and the United States and Turkey signed a "Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement" (DECA) on March 29, 1980. After signing the DECA, the USAFE initiated the "Turkey Catch-up Plan" to improve the quality-of-life of airmen stationed at Incirlik. One of the major projects was a completely new base housing complex for airmen and officers.

Humanitarian relief

After Iraq’s 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait, the 7440th Composite Wing (Provisional) assumed operational control of the 39th Tactical Group. The 7440th was the air component of Joint Task Force Proven Force, which eventually controlled 140 aircraft and opened a northern front, forcing Iraq to split its defenses between the north and the south, where the main thrust of coalition attacks originated as part of "Desert Storm". Following the war, Incirlik hosted "Combined Task Force Provide Comfort" (OPC), the effort to provide humanitarian relief to millions of Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.

The 39th TACG was redesignated the 39th Wing on October 1, 1993 and restructured as a standard Air Force objective wing.

The U.S. State Department’s "Operation Quick Transit" evacuated thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq late in 1996. The wing provided logistical support in Turkey to this operation, which signaled the end of the humanitarian aspect of "Provide Comfort". OPC ended December 31, 1996, and "Operation Northern Watch" (ONW) took its place January 1, 1997 with the task to enforce the U.N.-sanctioned no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel in Iraq.

The 39th Air and Space Expeditionary Wing was activated at Incirlik AB on September 15, 1997, to support and command USAF assets deployed to Incirlik supporting ONW. Incirlik’s tent city, Hodja Village, became the USAF’s largest.

Following the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks

In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, Operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001. Incirlik served as a main hub for missions in support for the war in Afghanistan, including humanitarian airlift operations, MC-130 special operations missions, KC-135 refueling missions and sustainment operations for deployed forces. The aerial port managed a 6-fold increase in airflow during the height of OEF. When the main bases in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan were constructed, Incirlik’s airflow supporting OEF decreased to a baseline sustainment level.

The War in Iraq

ONW ended with the beginning of the Iraq Invasion on March 19, 2003. ONW flew its last patrol on March 17, 2003, and closed a successful 12-year mission to contain the Iraqi military and inactivated May 1, 2003. The 39th ASEW was also inactivated, effective May 1, 2003. The Wing was deactivated on July 16, 2003 and the 39th Air Base Group was activated in its place.

On August 19, 2003, the first rotation of deployed KC-135 Stratotankers and airmen arrived at Incirlik to support various operations in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks as well as the post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq and the ensuing insurgency.

On January 6, 2004, more than 300 soldiers of what would become thousands transited through Incirlik as the first stop back to their home post, after spending almost a year in Iraq. Incirlik was part of what was described as the largest troop movement in U.S. history. Incirlik provided soldiers with a cot, warm location, entertainment and food for a few hours outside of a hostile war zone.

On March 12, 2004, the 39th Air Base Group deactivated, and the 39th Air Base Wing activated to provide the best mix of required support and, as new mission requirements emerge, to shoulder the burden and better contribute in the global war on terrorism.

The Response to the South Asian earthquake

Incirlik played a bridge role by providing support in the relief operation started after the October 8, 2005 South Asia earthquake. With the help of Turkish and American airmen, five C-130 Hercules cargo planes of from Air Bases in Italy, Britain, Greece, and France flew urgently-needed supplies including 10,000 tents from the warehouse of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in İskenderun, Turkey to Islamabad, Pakistan on October 19.

Hezbollah-Israel War 2006

During the brief War between Hezbollah and Israel in July 2006, the Incirlik Air Base provided solace to Americans who had been evacuated by U.S. Navy warships from Beirut, Lebanon to Mersin, Turkey.

Nuclear weapons at Incirlik

As of April, 2010, the Incirlik Air Base is believed to be the storage magazine for about 100 American B61 nuclear bombs. The United States has considered withdrawing these nuclear bombs from Turkey, and from several other foreign locations.


Following facilities exist for the service people and their family members:

  • Incirlik American School
  • Incirlik Education Center run by University of Maryland University College for 12 courses per term in departments such as: English, History, Psychology, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Language, Business and management, Computers, Government, Sociology, and Criminal Justice
  • Fitness Center
  • A Reel Time Movie Theatre that shows second-run movies
  • Hodja Lakes Golf Course
  • An Outdoor Recreation Center that provides rental services of bikes, camping equipment, barbecue gear, etc. and coordinates trips to local areas
  • A Veterinary Clinic


  • The cast of the film Ocean's Eleven George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts along with director Steven Soderbergh, toured Incirlik on December 7, 2001, immediately following their movie's premiere in Los Angeles, to show American servicemen their appreciation for serving their country.
  • Just weeks after losing Super Bowl XXXIII, Atlanta Falcons star Jamal Anderson toured the base to thank service members.
  • A mission in the GLA campaign of Command & Conquer: Generals takes place in Incirlik,where the player's mission is to destroy the base which is full of American troops and structures.
  • In 2007, Chuck Norris visited incirlik on his way back to the United States after visiting Iraq.
  • On June 26, 2006, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald visited the Incirlik Air Base to support American airmen and their families there.
  • The word "incirlik" in the Turkish language means "a place of fig trees" (or "a place of figs"). The "c" is this word is pronounced like the "j" in "John" or in "joke". The stress is on the second syllable. All the "i"s are pronounced like the "i" in "it".
  • A terrorist bombing is staged at Incirlik in Ridley Scott's espionage movie, Body of Lies.

Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport
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Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport
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Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport - KC-135R Stratotanker from the Ohio Air National Guard's 121st Air Refueling Wing at Incirlik, Turkey
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Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Ab Airport - U.S. Navy EA-6B Prowler taking off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
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Incirlik Air Base

MR-2 Nimrod at Incirlik Air Base
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Incirlik Air Base

EA-6 Prowlers - Incirlik Air Base
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General Info
Country Turkey
Time UTC+2(+3DT)
Latitude 37.002100
37° 00' 07.56" N
Longitude 35.425894
035° 25' 33.22" E
Elevation 238 feet
73 meters
Type Military
Magnetic Variation 004° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Operating Agency MILITARY
Near City Adana
Operating Hours 24 HOUR OPERATIONS
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry
Daylight Saving Time Dates notified by NOTAM

TWR 129.4
(129.4 264.775 USAF) ( 122.1 257.8 TuAF)
PMSV METRO 284.425
Avbl on APP freq wi 50 NM.
GND 123.025
(123.025 313.6 USAF) ( 376.7 TuAF)
ARRIVAL 262.625
APP 128.0
235.125 (128.0 296.75 USAF) (126.5 235.125 TuAF)

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
05/23 10000 x 148 feet
3048 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
TACAN DAN INCIRLIK 021X - 1.3 NM 228.9

Fuel JP-8, SemiKeroscene MIL Spec T-83133, without icing inhibitor
Oil O-148, MIL L 7808 (Synthetic Base), Turboprop/Turboshaft Engine
Other Fluids SP, Single Point Refueling

LHOX, Low and high pressure oxygen servicing

LOX, Liquid oxygen servicing
AIR: 150+/-5lb/min (2055+/-68cfm) at 51+/- psia, AC: 120/208v, 400 cycle, 3 phase, 75kva, 0.75pf, 4 wire, DC:28v, 200 amp, 5.6kw

82lb/min (1123cfm) at 130 deg air inlet temp,45psia(min) air outlet

A-GEAR Main rwy dep BAK-12 in place, rqr 15 min PN for apch end engagement. BAK-12's extn runout.
CAUTION Summer: slant vis is reduced due to haze and inversion on apch. Winter: increased TS activity around the base. Bird haz, stork and hawk migratory season 1 Mar-30 Jun. Small birds crossing arr/dep end of Rwy fr 30 May-30 Sep can cause tmpryMod Bird Watch Cond. Rwy edge lgts 11' fr rwy edge. All acft traveling W on N parl must turn at Twy AN. Large acft must use min pwr setting dur taxi opr; use inboard eng only and do not pwr up. Failure to do so may result in rwy closure forremoval of FOD haz. Exp less than nml BA on Rwy 05-23 and N parl twy (emerg rwy) when wet. Dragons teeth lctd at the entrance of hotel loop next to TWY, wing walkers required.
JASU (AM32-95/AM32-86)
LGT Rwy 05-23 PAPI and PAR / ILS RPI not coincidental. Rwy 05-23 thld lgt are gated.
MISC Avoid apch/ldg at civ arpt 7 NM W of Incirlik which has same rwy drct. AMC maint0200-1800Z++. METRO opr H24 V676-1110 extn 6878/79. USAF Wx obsn/fcst avbl under ICAO KQDG vis determined by either at sfc elev or ctl twr whichever is less.Vis determination fr offl obsn pt is obsc by trees and bldgs in the S sctr. Incirlik AB has a joint use, USAF/Turkish apch ctl. Acft with VIP, ctc 39 ABW/CP 1 hr out via fone patch at DSN 676-9920, C90-322-316-9920 to confirm VIPs and est chock time. If unable or chock time chg more than 5 min, ctc Comd Post at 50 miles. AMC mission Acft ctc AMC AIRLIFT 30 min prior to arr. Coml Acft ctc AMCC at 131.9 30 min prior to arr. Dry Ice only avbl with 24 hrs PN, Mon-Fri; not avbl Sat/Sun.
NS ABTMT Flt to incl cir apch proh blw 1200' S of Rwy 05/23 dur VMC for NS ABTMT over base hsg and village. Avoid ovft city of Adana blw 3000'. Wkends and hol no overheads permitted.
OIL O-148
RSTD See FLIP AP/2, Chapter 3, TURKEY, FLIGHT PLANNING for arr restrictions. See the unclassified Europe FCG, Turkey, Sec 1 item D, for Turkish diplomatic clnc rqr. PPR for acft for all acft exp Turkish Mil. Twy bravo clsd SS to SR limited to ftr. All acft must use the taxi cntrline. Classified material not avbl. PPR 24 hrPN rqr (exc Turkish Armed Forces acft), ctc AM OPS Incirlik C90-322-316-6156, DSN 314-676-6156/6157, FAX C90-322-316-6056, DSN 314-676-6056, E-MAIL 39OS/ w/acft type, CS, arr/dep info, requestor name and phone number.
TFC PAT Reduced rwy separation std are in eff for USAF ftr acft only.
TRAN ALERT Min svc capability to support C21, C12 and C130 models. All others supported by aircrew flt engineers, owning organization or AMC. ctc C90-322-316-6450 or DSN 314-676-6450 for further info.''

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