AFCEC sends installation planning team to Incirlik Air Base

  • Published
  • By Roger Gragg
  • AFCEC Public Affairs
Due to its location in the region, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, serves an important role in the Air Force's fight against the Islamic State group ISIS. In the face of an expanding mission, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe reached out to the Air Force Civil Engineer Center's Planning and Integration Directorate for support. 

In April, AFCEC sent one of its installation planning teams, or IPTs, to help Incirlik with planning and programming support.  The IPT is an emerging capability that builds a composite team from across the Air Force to assist installations in their planning to include area development, encroachment support, facility space management, requirements development and programming.

As the Air Force has downsized, installations and major commands don't necessarily have the manpower or capability to do IPT activities, said Col. Dean Hartman, planning and integration director.

"In talking to the field, we found there is a significant appetite from the mission owners within our installations to basically leverage the expertise AFCEC and (the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center) have to support various planning requirements," Hartman said. "(Installations) don't necessarily have the organic capability to thoroughly develop plans for what needs to be done.  AFCEC wanted to posture a cadre to go out and address these needs."

Over the last 24 months, Incirlik, home to the 39th Air Base Wing, has seen a surge of activity and a broadened mission supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. 

The IPT sent to Incirlik  was made up of seven members including: planners, one with airfield expertise from Air Combat Command; two AFIMSC programmers with experience in funding both military construction and operations and maintenance; staff to provide facility engineering and execution knowledge and geographic information systems, or GIS, support. The team was Kathleen Richardson, Jason Burnside, Capt. Chris Cagle, Daniel Cass, Ellen King, Peter Senior and Capt. Steve Mackinder.

A primary concern at the Turkish base was the need to augment aircraft parking and support infrastructure, said Richardson, team lead from AFCEC's comprehensive planning division.  Her team validated the requirements for eight to 10 projects, provided options for the way forward and prepped them with programming documents and details needed for executions. The Air Force Form 1391s help installations obtain approval and funding for execution of proposed requirements by providing a detailed description of the requirement, as well as the rationale behind the requirements and the directions for building.

"Our goal is to come out with hard deliverables in the 1391s for the scalable options we present," Richardson said.  "We wanted to help them plan for what they can do now, in the short term, and help them look at longer term solutions depending on how enduring the mission is."

The team looked at repurposing existing spaces and using temporary structures for contingency options, and performed site inspections for more permanent structures and improvements. Having a GIS representative there allowed them to map options real-time, whether contingency or long-term, and see what those would look like and what the alternatives are, Richardson said.

After receiving more than 30 requests for teams from the original data call, AFCEC went through a prioritization process to determine its capacity and capability to support. For fiscal 2016, there are currently six IPT trips planned, but more trips may be added, Hartman said.

"If we get urgent needs from the warfighter, such as Incirlik, which was not part of the original six, or if we get requests from MAJCOM commanders or combatant command commanders for direct mission support, we will do our very best to accommodate," he said.