NATO Deputy Secretary General leads parliamentary delegation to Konya
Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller led a delegation to visit NATO troops stationed at Turkey's Konya airbase on Friday (8 September 2017).
“I am pleased to have led this useful visit to Konya,” the Deputy Secretary General said. “NATO AWACS aircraft are playing a vital role in support of Turkey and the Coalition to Defeat ISIS. It has been a privilege to meet the men and women carrying out this important mission,” Ms. Gottemoeller added.
The delegation comprising German parliamentarians and NATO staff was received at Konya airbase by Turkish diplomatic and military officials and General Dawn Dunlop, Commander of the NATO AWACS fleet. Ms. Gottemoeller and the members of parliament toured the airbase, received operational briefings and met with air crews, including German Air Force staff, stationed there.
Konya airbase, around 250 kilometres south of Ankara, has served as a forward operating base for NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft since the 1980s in addition to its national role as a Turkish military facility. The base took on added importance to NATO operations due to the turmoil in neighboring Syria and Iraq. NATO AWACS operating out of Konya conduct patrols in support of Turkey and the Counter-ISIS Coalition. About 50 NATO military personnel are currently stationed at the base.