Izmir garrison recovers after earthquake in Turkey

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NATO’s Allied Land Command headquarters garrison in Izmir, Turkey, has resumed normal operations since an earthquake struck Oct. 30, a spokesman said Thursday.

In an email, Army Lt. Col. Travis Dettmer said that damage assessments have been finished for all buildings at LANDCOM’s headquarters. There are cracks in the buildings’ plaster walls and ceilings, he said, but nothing unexpected and the facility is operating normally, with no delays.

The Turkish Base Support Group, which is responsible for base operations there, has also done its own damage assessment, but Dettmer said the results were not yet available. But, he said, there are no indications of major problems, and operations are proceeding normally.

About 100 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Izmir, which suffered a major earthquake the morning of Oct. 30. At least 14 people were killed and hundreds were injured in Turkey and Greece as a result of the devastating quake.

Roughly 70 troops, most of whom are soldiers along with a smattering of airmen and a Marine, are at LANDCOM’s headquarters garrison. That garrison is about five miles from the hardest-hit area.

Another 30 airmen are stationed at a building in downtown Izmir that houses the 425th Air Base Squadron. Damage assessments of the 425th’s facilities in downtown Izmir were also finished over the weekend, Dettmer said. Facilities such as the barber, commissary, PX and other vendors were back open on Sunday, and remaining regular operations had fully resumed on Monday.

No physical injuries resulting from the earthquake have been reported, he said. LANDCOM is offering expanded counseling services for anyone who asks for help working through any mental trauma they may have experienced, he said.

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About

Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.

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