Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday ordered the families of military personnel assigned to southern Turkey to leave because of security fears. The State Department has also ordered families of diplomats at the Adana consulate to leave the country. The ordered departure from US European Command covers all Defense Department dependents not assigned to chief of mission authority at Incirlik Air Base and in Ismir and Mugla, according to a statement. “This decision allows for the deliberate, safe return of family members from these areas due to continued security concerns in the region,” EUCOM said. The move is intended to mitigate risk to DOD personnel. “The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense,” EUCOM Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said in the statement. “We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.