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Nov 15 2019

United Kingdom is tenth Ally to safeguard Icelandic Airspace

Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon aircraft have arrive in Iceland where they will spend the next month protecting the airspace under NATO's routine peacetime Icelandic Air Policing mission. 

The United Kingdom is the 10th Ally to deploy their fighter aircraft at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, to provide intercept capabilities ensuring the Ally in the High North is integrated into NATO's Air and Missile Defence system.

Upon arrival and conducting first familiarisation flights, the Typhoon detachment is undergoing certification by a vetting team from NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany. The team checks tactics, techniques and procedures and conducts training launches to test readiness of the 100-strong RAF detachment.

“We are very excited to be here and are looking forward to starting flying operations," says Wing Commander Mark Baker, the command officer. "We have come here at the request of the Icelandic Government to provide a capable force designed to offer reassurance and police the country’s airspace," he added.

Until early December the RAF Typhoons will be on standby and available to NATO to respond to any unidentified aircraft flying near Icelandic airspace.

RAF Typhoons are deploying once more to support and defend one of our Allies as part of our on-going commitment to NATO

The Icelandic Coast Guard hosts the NATO detachment at Keflavik Air Base. Its staff provides Host Nation Support and provides 24/7/365 air surveillance with four remote radar and communication sites. The Coast Guard staff at the Control and Reporting Centre is connected to the CAOC which controls NATO's Air Policing activities north of the Alps.

Since 2008, ten Allies – Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the United States and now the United Kingdom – have executed the NATO mission here, firmly interlocking Iceland into Allied structures. As part of NATO's peacetime Air Policing, the mission is overseen by Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Photos by Cathy Sharples

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