Space


Diyarbakir - Pirinclik
3755'00"N 04000'00"E

The 41-year-old American-Turkish Pirinclik Base near Diyarbakir, known as NATO's frontier post for monitoring the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, completely closed on 30 September 1997. This return was the result of the general drawdown of US bases in Europe and improvement in space surveillance technology. The base near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir housed sensitive electronic intelligence-gathering systems that kept an ear on the Middle East, Caucasus and Russia.

The Pirinclik sensor system consisted of two radio frequency (RF) mechanical radar systems providing radar intelligence, space surveillance, and missile warning data to multiple users. There were two types of radars located at Pirinclik Air Station (AS). The Pirinclik, Turkey, RADINT site operated both a detection radar (AN/FPS-17) and a mechanical tracking radar (AN/FPS-79). Both radars operated at an UHF (432 MHz) frequency. Although limited by their mechanical technology, Pirinclik's two radars gave the advantage of tracking two objects simultaneously in real time. Its location close to the southern Soviet Union made it the only ground sensor capable of tracking actual deorbits of Soviet space hardware. In addition, the Pirinclik radar was the only 24-hour-per-day eastern hemisphere deep-space sensor.

The FPS-17 detection scanning radars have fixed antennae oriented toward the Soviet Union. The Air Force FPS-79 UHF tracking radar at Diyarbakir/Pirinclik in Turkey is capable of tracking missiles during flight. The 10 meter diameter dish antenna system has a variable focus feed horn system which can provide a wide beam for target detection, and a narrow beam for tracking (other similar radars have scan rates in excess of 10o per second). Operating at 432 MHz(56) this radar has a maximum detection range in excess of 4,300 kilometers.

In 1970, the name Diyarbakir Air Station was changed to that of Pirinclik, the name of the small village 30 km west of Diyarbakir where the unit were actually located. On 1 June 1972 the 7022d Air Base Squadron was activated, under the command of the 39th Tactical Group. On 30 July 1981, this air base squadron was assigned to HQ TUSLOG [The United States Logistics Group]. Its mission is to support the 19th Surveillance Squadron of SAC at Pirinclik. It received logistical support from Incirlik.

Pirinclik Air Station is a remote site, where personnel lived in one dorm, had one club to socialize in, could not go off base at night, and had very few shopping or entertainment opportunities other than an occasional temporary duty to Incirlik. This site was so small you could practically see the perimeter fence from anywhere on the base. The staff consisted of 150 airmen, 30+ soldiers, 120 American civilian contractors, and nearly 300 Turkish military and civilians.

On September 30, 1996, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Syracuse, N.Y., was awarded a $16,221,360 face value increase to a fixed price incentive contract to provide for FY 1997 operation, maintenance, and logistic support of the sensor facilities at Pirinclik Air Station, Turkey. The work was perfumed at Pirinclik Air Station, Turkey. The contract was completed September 1997. The 21st Space Wing, Peterson AFB, Colo., was the contracting activity.

The Secretary of Defense announced February 13, 1997, that the Department of Defense would end or reduce operations at seven European installations as a result of the latest round of base and force realignment actions. The phrase "return" means the entire installation is vacated by U.S. forces and returned to the control of the host nation. This round included six installations in Germany and one in Turkey -- Pirinclik Air Base. This action began immediately, with return of the installation to the host nation planned for September, 1997. It affected about 117 U.S. Air Force personnel then assigned to the base.




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