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Breedlove Visits U.S. Troops in Turkey

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicole Sikorski 39th Air Base Wing


GAZIANTEP, Turkey, August 1, 2014 — Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the commander of U.S. European Command, visited U.S. Army soldiers here yesterday assigned to NATO-controlled Patriot missile units deployed to defend against possible attack from neighboring Syria.

"While it's unfortunate that the threat remains, we are clearly demonstrating NATO's resolve and commitment to its core principles right here," Breedlove said. Within the NATO alliance, an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.

Breedlove toured the installation and got an inside look at soldiers on the job. He also awarded outstanding service members with coins for their contribution to the mission.

"It's nice to have our leadership come and see operations that happen at Gaziantep at a personal level," said Army Spec. Kayla Echman, a Patriot fire control enhancement operator maintainer who’s assigned to 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

Patriot missile batteries, supplied by the United States, Germany and The Netherlands, were deployed along Turkey’s border with Syria last year after ordinance from the Syrian side was fired at Turkish territory.