The recently appointed United States envoy to Turkey, Jeff Flake, visited the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey’s Adana province, his first trip to the facility since arriving in the country this year.
Flake officially took over as the U.S. ambassador in late January, succeeding David Satterfield, who was Washington's envoy to Turkey since June 2019.
Flake and his wife Cheryl visited Incirlik Air Base on Feb. 2, where they "met with senior leaders and airmen for discussions about a variety of topics including the importance of the U.S. Air Force and the Turkish Air Force collaboration and the 39th Air Base Wing's role in advancing U.S. security interests in the region and reinforcing the NATO alliance," read a statement released by the base on Friday.
Flake said the work being done by the U.S. and Turkish airmen at Incirlik and other installations in Turkey "is a bedrock of our strategic relationship."
"Thank you for continuing to stand guard every day in defense of U.S. national security and regional stability on NATO's southern flank," he said.
Flake also hailed the performance of U.S. forces at Incirlik, saying it "is truly essential to safeguard the freedoms that the American and Turkish peoples cherish."
"I am grateful for and impressed by the service of the members of the 39th Air Base Wing, which supports the U.S. partnership with Turkey as well as the enduring NATO Alliance," the statement quoted him.