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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 137-97
March 27, 1997

NUMBER OF U.S. AIR FORCE PERSONNEL AT AIR BASE IN TURKEY REDUCED

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today that the Department of Defense will reduce the number of U.S. Air Force personnel permanently assigned to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, by 40-50 percent by September 30, 1998. This action will begin immediately, with a gradual reduction of the 2,400 U.S. Air Force personnel currently assigned to the base.

This reduction is part of the general realignment of U.S. bases in Europe. To date, more than 800 U.S. military locations in Europe have been returned to the host nation, reduced or placed on standby.

The U.S. Government is not reducing its commitment to Europe or Turkey. Turkey remains a vital U.S. ally and key regional partner.