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TUSLOG Det 76, İncirlik/Adana Turkey

By Perry J. "Ike" Eisenhower

2003-2011 by Author

 

TUSLOG Det 76 (USAFSS
İncirlik/Adana

This TUSLOG Detachment operated from 1957 to 1966. Also known as Det 1, 6916 Radio Squadron Mobile/Security Squadron was subordinate to the 6916 RSM/SS, Rhein Main AB, Germany.

This small dedicated group was composed of one officer, the commander, and about 15 enlisted men, a mix of linguists and personnel/supply/administrative specialists. The unit's mission was to provide operational analytical/reporting, aircrew augmentation and administrative/courier support for the RB-50 (1957/58) and later the RC-130 USAFSS aircrews that deployed to İncirlik AB, Turkey. Deployments were normally three weeks in duration originating from and returning to Rhein Main AB, Germany.

Det 76 also facilitated further 1-week deployments of the three weeks to Mehrobad IAP, Tehran, Iran, from İncirlik AB. During the early years, air crews were housed on base in tent city, then upgraded to quonset huts and ultimately permanent multistory quarters. Most PCS troops were quartered on base, but a few quartered off base in Adana, at the time, the third largest city in Turkey. This was a really great unit to which to be assigned.

I was a member of the 6916 Radio Squadron Mobile (redesignated from Det 1, 6910 Radio Group Mobile and Det 1, 6900 Security Region) later redesignated as the 6916 Security Squadron, Rhein Main AB, Germany, from Jul 1957 to Aug 1963 and TUSLOG Det 76 from Aug 1963 to Aug 1965. During that time, I flew aboard both RB-50 and RC-130 aircraft as a Russian speaking operator, analyst and Airborne Mission Supervisor, accrueing approximately 3000 operational mission flying hours before my PCS to the 6949 SS, Offutt AFB, Ne. The two years I spent PCS to Det 76 were among the most personally rewarding years of my 30-year career. The mission was important, challenging and unique. In my 2-year assignment, I spent about 75 % of my waking hours "on the job"....there was so much to do and so few to do it, but I don't regret a minute of all the "overtime". I consider it a unique privilege to have served with such a dedicated group of men.

The RC-130 that was shot down northwest of Erevan, Armenia, on 2 Sep, 1958 with the loss of the entire crew, was staging from İncirlik AB and had received its USAFSS support from personnel assigned to TUSLOG Det 76. The aircraft was on a routine operational mission over eastern Turkey and had inadvertently strayed across the Turkish/Armenian border where it was attacked by Soviet fighters. The precise reason for the navigational error was never established. All eleven of the USAFSS crewmembers were friends of mine. You can read about the shootdown in the book "The Cost of Vigilance", by Larry Tart (SMSgt Ret) and Robert Keefe Jr, both former Russian linguists with who were assigned to the 6916 SS....Keefe was also assigned to the unit at Rhein Main at the time of the shootdown. In fact, Bob Keefe was the valedictorian of our Basic Intensive Russian Language class which graduated from Syracuse University the end of June 1957.

Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the American Military Units in Turkey page and I hope to hear from fellow military who were stationed at TUSLOG Det 76.

Sincerely,
Perry J. (Ike) Eisenhower, CMSgt (Ret), USAF


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