Leavenworth native in charge of law enforcement at Incirlik air base
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey For the daughter of a Leavenworth couple, living only 35 miles from the Mediterranean Sea makes this assignment seem like a dream come true.
Air Force Senior Airman Megan L. Bedard, daughter of John and Kelli Denney of Leavenworth, is assigned to the 39th Security Forces Squadron, 39th Air Base Wing. Located in the south-central part of Turkey, Incirlik is close to many of the world’s troubled hotspots, making it an important base in NATO’s Southern Region.
Bedard and the other men and women assigned here provide real-world operational support. With its many training facilities, great weather, uncongested airspace, and sparsely populated terrain, Incirlik is a great place for pilots to train. The base also provides vital support for three geographically separated units throughout Turkey.
“I manage and oversee all law enforcement missions on the installation. This includes training, certifying, and employing multiple equipment and techniques that local law enforcement uses. I also run community involvement programs such as D.A.R.E. and Neighborhood Crime Watch, and manage events like Pumpkin Patrol, Red Ribbon Week, and Patrol Day,” said Bedard.
“A typical day consists of reviewing the previous day’s law enforcement reports, updating and reviewing policies and procedures, and coordinating with the community to ensure they are aware of current crime trends, events and needs.”
There are about 1,500 military members and 1,500 family members, DOD civilians and contract personnel assigned to Incirlik. Bedard and the others all play a vital role in making sure that the mission here is carried out efficiently and effectively. Teamwork, a strong infrastructure, and strategic location ensure Incirlik’s success.
“Incirlik plays a very important role in supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq,” said Bedard, who graduated in 2006 from Leavenworth High School. “This base, as well as the 39th Security Forces Squadron, greatly contributed to the successful completion of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
As with many other cities in Turkey, the area around Incirlik has many shops, fresh fruit and vegetable markets, bakeries and small restaurants lining the streets. There are Turkish bazaars, open markets, and even a modern day, western-style shopping mall with a movie theater that plays current American movies in English. It is a shopper’s paradise where bargaining is key to getting a great deal on carpets, spices, antiques, and gold.
“Turkey is a unique country as it is split between two continents, Europe and Asia. For the most part, the people are friendly and welcoming. The food is very different from ours, but still very good,” said Bedard.
“There is a ton of history in Turkey! I love that you can be driving to the beach and you can see a castle or other ancient ruin. There are a lot of things to do and see in Turkey, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so.”
Even though the location makes it seems like being on a vacation, Bedard and the others must eventually leave this small piece of paradise at the end of their tour.
“I have been in the military for four years,” said Bedard. “I am looking forward to going to Royal Air Force Alconbury, England, after my tour is complete in Turkey.”
Dona Fair reports for Joint Hometown News
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