Power returned to Incirlik AB, Turkey, on July 22—about six days after the failed coup attempt led to it being cut off and US Air Force jets being grounded. The base was able to use backup generators to launch and recover aircraft as part of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and photographs posted by Incirlik public affairs showed life as normal on the base while the power was still out. Army Col. Christopher Garver, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a Friday briefing that “impact on the ground was exceedingly minimal” because the coalition was able to shift air tasking orders and plans to continue airstrikes when Incirlik couldn’t launch aircraft. The coalition used additional air refueling flights to send aircraft from other bases into north Iraq and Syria, the same thing it did before the coalition was able to use the Turkish base. “We were able to shift responsibilities and air plans around to make sure that it was absolutely a minimal impact to the fight on the ground,” Garver said. “And now, we are flying again. There’s power again. So we expect operations to get back to normal.” During the power outage, generators were able to keep air conditioning and other necessities going. “The troops there have been eating, they have had showers, they have had Wi-Fi, but things are starting to get uncomfortable, so it came back on just at the right time,” Garver said.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.