The Pentagon has extended into December a program that allows family members of U.S. military and civilian personnel assigned to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to return to the States. The authorized voluntary departure of dependents from Turkey for those assigned to Incirlik or living in the surrounding area, including the city of Adana, has been extended until Dec. 2, the Air Force said Friday. To date, 29 families, encompassing 68 command-sponsored dependents, have used the program. Families will be able to return to Turkey once the security situation improves. The program was first approved on Sept. 2. It followed Turkey’s authorization to allow U.S. warplanes to fly missions against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria from Incirlik, located near Adana. That effort has recently been stepped up, with the announcement Friday that the U.S. Air Force has deployed six F-15s to Incirlik to help secure Turkish air space. In late October, about a dozen A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes also deployed to Incirlik. Along with the continuation of the voluntary departure program for family members, the suspension of Defense Department-funded travel to Incirlik and Adana, for dependents remains in effect, the Air Force said.
© Copyright 2018 Stars and Stripes. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.