NATO deactivates Allied Air Command Izmir
IZMIR, Turkey – NATO’s Allied Air Command formally conducted the ceremonial closure of its headquarters at its base in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, 22 May, in advance of its official deactivation date of June 1, 2013. Admiral Bruce W. Clingan, the commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, presided to honor the command’s historic achievements with the outgoing and final Air Command Izmir commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ralph J. Jodice, II.
Over 100 distinguished guests from 12 NATO countries and 8 command headquarters witnessed the deactivation inside the General Vecihi Akin Garrison in Sirinyer, Izmir, Turkey. Admiral Clingan opened his remarks by publicly thanking the country of Turkey for their generosity. "I am pleased to have an opportunity to extend the Alliance’s deepest gratitude to our Turkish hosts, who have warmly welcomed NATO’s forces in Izmir since 1952.” Since its activation on August 11, 2004, AC-Izmir has served as the air power arm of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, charged with safeguarding almost three million square miles of airspace across NATO’s southern region. "Air Command Izmir has been a leader in the Alliance's ability to fuflill its mission as a guarantor of security, evidenced most recently by its performance as the Combined Forces Air Component Command during Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR," said Admiral Clingan.
Lt. Gen. Jodice welcomed Izmir Governor Mustafa Harputlu and other distinguished guests with praise, saying, "Your great city and surrounding communities have left a long-lasting, positive impact on all of us from Air Command Izmir. The nation of Turkey has been a wonderful host to Air Command Izmir.” Though the Air Command will deactivate, the city of Izmir will continue to host NATO Allied Land Command at the garrison.
Lt. Gen. Jodice concluded by thanking his team, the men and women of Allied Air Command Izmir, for their professionalism and dedication to the Alliance and the headquarters. "I would, and have, stood shoulder to shoulder with you in any NATO military operation.”
With Allied Air Command Izmir’s deactivation, both NATO’s southern and northern region air missions are now consolidated under one Air Command in Ramstein, Germany.