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Turkish-U.S. airlift effort brings supplies to Afghans

by Airman 1st Class Nathan Lipscomb
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/28/2007 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNEWS) -- In a joint effort between Turkish and U.S. Air Forces, 94,000 pounds of palletized cargo was transported via two C-17 Globemaster IIIs Feb. 21 to Kabul Air Base, Afghanistan. 

The 23 pallets and five trailers of cargo consisted of uniforms and equipment for the Afghan army to use in the war on terrorism.

The Turkish and U.S. Air Force members unloaded, stacked and secured the six truckloads of supplies to pallets. Members of the 39th Logistic Readiness Squadron played a vital role in the joint mission and Master Sgt. Larry Peterson said he enjoyed working side-by-side with our Turkish counter parts.

"The very success of the recent airlift operation was due, in large part, to their tremendous support," he said. 

"At every opportunity they were there working side-by-side with us to ensure that the mission got done. And, I might add, they were very appreciative of the support we provided which is refreshing in itself," Sergeant Peterson said.

"It's this camaraderie and common bond we share with our Turkish comrades that makes being assigned to this country most enjoyable," he said. 

Once the much needed supplies were palletized, 728th Air Mobility Squadron members stepped in to finish the job of loading and transporting the cargo. The two C-17s used to transport the supplies were loaded by an assortment of temporarily assigned, Reserve, Guard and active duty members which make up the 728th AMS.

While turnover of Reserve, Guard and temporary duty units is high at Incirlik, you might think that morale would be low, but Staff Sgt. Robert Izzett, 728th AMS load team chief, would disagree.

"With very few permanent party members on the crew, we've meshed well and continue to do our best," he said. "This group has the highest morale of all the units I've worked with."

Sergeant Izzett and his team, Master Sgt. James Triplett, Senior Airman Ryan Yarton, Airmen First Class Bruno Carreiro and Thomas Hickey assisted the Turkish nationals by loading the cargo in the early morning hours before transport downrange.

"It's always great when we can come together and get an important joint mission like this one completed successfully," said Col. "Tip" Stinnette the 39th Air Base Wing commander. "The TuAF/ U.S. partnership is our strength, and I commend the men and women of Team Incirlik for their hard work and dedication while ensuring freedom's future." 

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