KEFLAVIK, Iceland – On Wednesday after the alert launch of an Italian
Eurofighter twoship at Keflavik, the Italian Air Force detachment at Keflavik
Air Base was declared fully operationally capable, thus attaining the
qualification to officially conduct air surveillance and interception missions
over Iceland on behalf of NATO.
During the certification, the unit had to implement standard operating
procedures in real-world Air Policing situations. The performance of the whole
team was monitored and assess, specifically the response of the pilots in these
Leibinger, head of the NATO evaluation team from Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany,
presented the Italian Detachment Commander, Colonel Emanuele Spigolon, the
mission-ready certificate. This officially starts Italy's Interim Air Policing
operation in Iceland.
"I am very proud of the result attained," said Colonnel Spigolon. "In spite of challenging weather
conditions, all our team worked hard to achieve the objective of Full
Last week, the Italian
Air Force deployed six Eurofighter jets to Iceland and after conducting familiarisation
flights they were ready for the certification. The pilots, air controllers,
technical and logistic staff will now ensure air surveillance and interception capabilities
over Iceland until the mid-April. The detachment will work with the Icelandic
Coast Guard Control and Reporting Centre "Loki", act as standby Air Policing
unit and conduct training activities with the Icelandic Coast Guard.
Since early 2008,
following the withdrawal of US forces in 2006, NATO has maintained
"airborne surveillance and interception capabilities to meet Iceland's
peacetime preparedness needs". This peacetime mission conducted by CAOC
Uedem, Germany, is an expression of NATO's commitment to Icelandic security.
More photos here.
Story by Italian Air Force Public Affairs