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Oct 8 2020

United States Air Force to Secure Skies over Iceland

RAMSTEIN, Germany – A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter detachment is deploying to Iceland to fly Air Policing missions there within the framework of NATO’s defensive air role in the High North.  

“The routine deployment demonstrates Alliance solidarity and the transatlantic linkage at work,” said U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at NATO’s Allied Air Command which oversees Air Policing via two Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs). “Air Policing is how the Alliance provides collective defence to its 30 member states. This peacetime defensive mission ensures the same level of protection to all Allies,” he added.. 

This routine deployment demonstrates Alliance solidarity and the transatlantic linkage at work. ... Air Policing is how the Alliance provides collective defence to its 30 member states.
A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jet taking off at RAF Lakenheath. These aircraft will be deployed at Keflavik, Iceland, soon to fly NATO Air Policing sorties and work with the Icelandic Coast Guard to secure Icelandic skies. Archive photo: U.S. Air Force/Christopher S. Sparks.

Iceland is one example of special Air Policing arrangements, as they do not have fighter aircraft to conduct Air Policing. Therefore, the Allies, in conjunction with the Icelandic authorities, have agreed that the appropriate response is to maintain a periodic presence of NATO fighter aircraft based at Keflavik Air Base to ensure NATO territory is safe and secure.

Upon certification by the CAOC at Uedem, Germany, the U.S. F-15 fighters from RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, will be on 24/7 alert to scramble for Air Policing missions under NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence plan. Icelandic Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force Airmen in the NATO Control and Reporting Centre Loki will control these missions. 

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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