US Air Force Opens Preventative Care Facility in Turkey

The US Air Force has launched an Operational Support Team (OST) facility at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to address preventive care for warfighters.

OST is a combined active duty and civilian group comprising physical therapists, conditioning specialists, psychologists, and other medical experts who assist in maintaining the musculoskeletal and mental health of airmen and guardians.

Although similar to traditional treatment centers, OST hubs operate to alleviate health issues before reaching complexities.

Under the facility in Incirlik Air Base, physical and mental health providers will focus on the 39th Security Forces Squadron.

This unit provides force protection for the base and other air force sites throughout Turkey.

Additional tasks include airlift and tanker deployments, local law enforcement services, and contingency missions across the broader Europe and Asia.

“OST is a multidisciplinary team,” 39th Medical Group OST Element Lead Capt. Cheven Bonnell said. “We’re meant to be an embedded team, so we pick squadrons that are higher risk such as security forces or maintenance. We’re here to get ahead of issues before they become chronic.”

Flexible Service

The US Air Force wrote that among the critical benefits of the new OST center is its constant availability.

Compared to traditional clinic hours, the team delivers services based on the patient’s schedule to secure health assistance “beyond the confines of a typical ‘nine-to-five’ timeline.”

U.S. Air Force Capt. Cheven Bonnell, 39th Medical Group Operational Support Team element lead, briefs about the new OST building capabilities at Incirlik Air Base, Türkiye, March 27, 2024. The new building is able to provide the OST their own space to work with their embedded squadron while also providing services to the wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Suzie Plotnikov)
Medical Group Operational Support Team briefs about the new preventative care building capabilities at Incirlik Air Base, Türkiye, Photo: Staff Sgt. Suzie Plotnikov/US Air Force

“When people walk in here, this building can provide space for classes, one on ones, and that’s where we service the wing, but the primary focus is for security forces,” 39th Medical Group OST Element Chief Capt. Jacob Kriegbaum stated.

“This building is used for educational classes for everybody… but if anybody walks in and wants a class on ‘x, y, z,’ we’re going to flex and make that happen for them.”

The Incirlik OST facility will serve to its maximum capacity following its opening.

“We’re ready to see folks and get them going, whether that’s improving their fitness, goal setting, or one-on-one form with weightlifting,” Kriegbaum said.

“We have a mind gym coming in so we’ll be able to work on improving someone’s attention span and mindfulness. We also have run data analysis so we’re excited to get everything spun up here.”

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