The Flow From Turkey

Incirlik AB, Turkey, has become the Pentagon’s chief air cargo hub for operations in Iraq, moving some 60 percent of all air cargo headed into Iraq, says Col. Tip Stinnette, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik. One thing that makes Incirlik so ideal for Iraq-bound C-17s, explained Stinnette, is that it can “pump that airplane and aircrew into Iraq twice in a day” unlike when Ramstein AB, Germany, served as the hub and could only cycle each aircraft once a day. Stinnette acknowledge that ships can carry more and are less expensive, but “There are some things that just have to get there now, tonight—kind of like the FedEx thing, when it positively has to get there.” He said that the Air Force contracts for 747s to haul the cargo from the states to Incirlik, and from there it gets loaded onto C-17s that can fly the cargo “closer to the foxhole.”