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Joint patrols keep Incirlik in good hands

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNEWS) -- They may not be known as well as partners Batman and Robin or Starsky and Hutch, but members of the 39th Security Forces Squadron and the Turkish air force are partners protecting the citizens here all the same.

They may wear different uniforms, have a different culture and even speak a different language, but one thing is for sure, they have the same mission -- protecting base members and assets.

"The joint patrol is actually the way we do integrated base defense here," said Maj. Brian Gillespie, the 39th SFS commander. "Joint patrols allow us a way to immediately contact both Turkish and American personnel and provide the same level of service in one-stop shopping with a single patrol."  

"We all understand that we are guests on this installation," said Master Sgt. Joel Davis, the 39th SFS NCO in charge of police services. "The Turkish air force has external security and they control entry onto the base and we are responsible for the safety and security of our own personnel and resources. With the two being merged together on joint patrols, we find that middle ground to talk back and fourth, which allows us to help anybody on base."

"The major benefit is command and control," Major Gillespie said. "We have two very large security forces elements on this installation, both armed and highly motivated and the seam is at the joint patrol. The only real way to answer calls and make sure the two forces don't run over each other is to put them in a joint configuration."

One of the most beneficial things about joint patrols is the fact Americans and Turks can learn from one another.

"One of the biggest things the Turks learn from us are the tactics we use on a day-to-day basis and one of the biggest things the Americans learn is their culture and that not everyone thinks like we do," said Capt. James Alves, a 39th SFS operations officer. 

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