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 Oct 29 2020

United States Air Force Wraps Up Southeast and High North NATO Deployments

RAMSTEIN, Germany - Two scheduled temporary deployments of U.S. Air Force fighter detachments in support of NATO’s Air Policing mission are coming to an end in Bulgaria and Iceland.

While the U.S. Air Force fighter detachment in Bulgaria concluded last weekend, the mission in Iceland will do so this Friday. In both cases the deployment of air power at the flanks of the Alliance demonstrated the U.S. commitment to NATO; however, both cases were different when it comes to how mission execution is approached. 

These concurrent U.S. deployments are a powerful expression of the Alliance's transatlantic link and the solidarity among Allies
 

“These two concurrent U.S. deployments to the High North and the Southeastern Flank of NATO are a powerful expression of the Alliance’s transatlantic link and the solidarity among Allies when it comes to security, deterrence and defence,“ said Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at Allied Air Command. “They also showcase the agile employment of U.S. Air Force assets as they continue to enhance readiness and proficiency while integrating with our Allies,” he added. 

The U.S. F-16 fighter detachment deployed at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, from their home base at Aviano, Italy, conducted NATO enhanced Air Policing showcasing Alliance cohesion, commitment and deterrence. The U.S. team worked and trained closely with their Bulgarian colleagues securing the Ally’s airspace bordering on the Black Sea. The deployment was overseen by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón, Spain; it enabled both Allies to hone their flying skills and further develop interoperability and cooperation. 

The U.S. F-15 fighter detachment deployed at Keflavik, Iceland, from their home base at Lakenheath, United Kingdom, executed NATO’s 24/7 mission of Air Policing demonstrating readiness, vigilance and cooperation. The mission in Iceland is one example of how NATO provides collective security through Air Policing. Since 2008, the Ally in the High North has hosted several multi-week deployments each year of Allied fighter jets. NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany and the Control and Reporting Centre at Keflavik, Iceland controlled the mission and the Icelandic Coast Guard ensured search and rescue support.


Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

A U.S. Air Force F-16s parked behind a Bulgarian Air Force MiG-21 at Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, during the three week deployment under NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission. Photo by Rob Kunzig.
U.S. Air Force F-15C/D Eagles return from a training sortie in support of NATO Air Policing at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. The mission remains a fundamental component to how NATO provides security to its members.  U.S. Air Force photo by Matthew Plew.
A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle basks in the green light of the Aurora Borealis at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. The last of the 48th Fighter Wing’s Heritage F-15 aircraft is currently deployed to the region in support of NATO Air Policing operations. U.S. Air Force photo by Matthew Plew.

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