Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld greets Air Force Staff Sergeant Ward and Capt. Rasmussen (right) during his visit to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld greets Air Force Staff Sergeant Ward and Capt. Rasmussen (right) during his visit to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 4, 2001. Incirlik Air Base, the headquarters of Combined Task Force Operation Northern Watch, is home to a number of aviation units from the U.S., Turkey, and Great Britain that regularly patrol the skies over northern Iraq to enforce the no-fly zone. If one of those aircraft were to crash, either as a result of hostile action or due to a system failure, Capt. Rasmussen, or one of his fellow A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots, would be called on to search for the downed pilot or aircrew. Once the downed airman was located, the A-10s would also provide armed escort for the rescue helicopters. As a reflection of their mission of combat search and rescue, the pilots of the 23rd Fighter Group wear a patch on their left shoulder featuring an image of Elvis Presley with the slogan: "If He's Out There ... We'll Find Him." Turkey was the first stop on a seven-day, seven-country, European tour by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.