The Pentagon has extended until Nov. 2 the deadline for military and civilian personnel stationed in Adana, Turkey to voluntarily send their dependents home.

The Defense Department on Sept. 2 approved the authorized voluntary departure program for personnel at Incirlik Air Base and the surrounding area, Adana, to try to safeguard the family of service members there. Originally, personnel had until Oct. 1 to decide and leave.

But the Air Force said on Thursday that the deadline has been extended about a month "to continue ensuring the safety and security of dependents."

The Pentagon's decision to allow family members to depart, if they choose, came after Turkey authorized U.S. combat aircraft to fly missions against the Islamic State terrorist group over Iraq and Syria from Incirlik.

So far, 39 dependents have used the voluntary departure program.

Dependents can choose to leave Turkey at any time during the departure window, but they won't be able to return until the departure program has ended. The Pentagon could choose to further extend the program in 30-day increments, based on security situations.

The Air Force said that if a family is thinking about using the program, they should contact their unit's first sergeant.

Stephen Losey covers Air Force leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times.

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