Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hup! Twoop! Three! Four! - Part 4

Image result for incirlik afb  The next stop in my military career was assignment to TUSLOG Det 16 at Incirlik AFB, Turkey, August, 1970.  On my way from Frankfurt, Germany, I made a connection on Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, Turkey to fly to Adana.  It was an old prop plane and I think they added an extra row of seats because there were three on one side of the very narrow aisle and two on the other side. I wasn't real keen with the on-board refreshments that were comprised of crackers and warm goat milk so I passed on that opportunity.
  Upon arrival to Incirlik, it was dark and quite late.  I checked into the transit barracks for the night and would find quarters the next day.  When I woke up, the sun was beating into the room and I thought that I must have slept until noon.  After putting myself together, I went outside where I found the temperature to be something close to a hundred degrees.  It was a short walk to the snack bar for lunch.  Upon entering, I found the patrons eating breakfast and noticed the clock on the wall.  It was 7 AM and I quickly gained a full understanding of the climate in Turkey!
  Soon I was settled into my permanent barracks.  There were two to a room.  The guys in the comm. squadron were all housed together and they were a pretty good bunch.  We all had nick names that stuck:  Fastidious Strauss, Rookie Ryan, Severe Scott, and Pop Matthews to name a few.  Me?  I was Crazy.
  If we weren't hanging out at the barracks, there were five primary activities that we engaged in:
1.  Work
2.  Chow Hall
3.  BX (The base department store)
4.  Movie Theater
5.  Audio Club (A place that sells stereo equipment)
A local merchant
  The more adventurous might go off base and mingle in the local culture.  I did that once with a few others and it was interesting.  There were a lot of myths that went around about the area.  Never knew if they were true or not.  One was; never get busted for drugs because they don't feed you in Turkish prisons.  You rely on the Red Cross for that.  Another was; you could buy black market stuff from the street vendors.  They were called 'Bush-Bush' because that is what they called out as they pushed their carts.  Probably was Turkish for 'You want it, we got it!'  Common black market items were over-the-counter pharmaceuticals like aspirin, and, of course, cigarettes. 
  It was rumoured that Gary Powers, a famous U2 pilot that was shot down over Russia, flew in and out of Incirlik from a hidden hanger.  Never saw any evidence of it.  Though I did see a lot of activity from the British Vulcans.
Adana Tropo Remote Site
  My duty section was, as before, Tech Control.  It seemed the farther I was from the U.S., the more antiquated was the equipment I had to work with.  I enjoyed the work, nevertheless.  During my year in Turkey, I was sent TDY (Temporary DutY) to TUSLOG Det 187, a remote site south of our base outside of Adana.  It was a 28 man outpost that was a Tropospheric Scatter radio repeater station.  As I had mentioned in Part 3 of this series, Turkey was the eastern end of the DOD's (Department Of Defense) Southern Tropo System that went westward to England.
  In March of 1971, I received marching orders to the World.  A term we used to refer to going back to the States.  A couple things about exiting Turkey; during the time that I was flying out, there had been some GI's kidnapped and there was a lot of security around Istanbul airport, which was a little distracting.  The other thing; everyone was required to pay a tax to leave Turkey, which I thought was curious, but happy to do so.

1 comment:

  1. I was also assigned to Det 16 (MUX Maintenance) next door to Tech Control from Sep 1966 to Mar 1968. We maintained and operated the Microwave equipment which shot to Det 187 (Tropo). During my 18 month tour at Incirlik, I also was TDY to Iskenduren with the Army maintaining their Comm equipment. Mer Haba my friend.

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