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 Mar 2 2020

Norway and NATO present Air Policing mission in Iceland to media

The Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 detachment conducting NATO’s air mission in Iceland presented their activities to a dozen international media at Keflavik Air Base on 2 March 2020. After watching the F-35 rolling past on the icy taxiway, the journalists had an opportunity to interview senior military representatives about the Norwegian deployment which highlights the special arrangement that exists for Iceland to ensure NATO-wide Air Policing.

Two Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft taxiing past journalists at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, during the media event showcasing NATO's air policing arrangement in the Ally in the High North. Photo by Christian Timmig

“We have successfully accomplished our certification only last Friday to carry out the Allied mission here in Iceland,” said the Lieutenant-Colonel Stole Nymoen welcoming the visitors. “We are now providing Quick Reaction Alert duty for Iceland with the F-35 and at home with the F-16 flying out of Bodø – a complex task,” he added and was visibly proud of his team’s achievements.

This cohesion proves we are an Alliance that is capable, adaptable and ready to face future challenges

The NATO representative, Allied Air Command Deputy Chief of Staff Support Air Commodore Jason Appleton, thanked Iceland for their strong contribution to NATO. “You are providing the essential air surveillance over Iceland and the North Atlantic, the crucial search and rescue cover for our NATO airmen and women,” he said, enabling “ten of our Allies to reinforce the mission here, firmly interlocking Iceland into the Allied air policing structures.

“Today is especially significant as your air force have deployed fifth generation aircraft on this NATO mission, incredibly impressive given they only recently achieved initial operational capability,” Air Commodore Appleton continued.

He commended Norway for previously deploying four detachments of F-16 fighters. “You have showcased the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s solidarity and commitment and demonstrated NATO’s readiness for credible deterrence and defence. This cohesion proves we are an Alliance that is capable, adaptable and ready to face future challenges,” he said in conclusion.

The Norwegian Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hansson, underlined the traditional friendship that has existed between Norway and Iceland. “We had not deployed fighter assets to NATO’s international Air missions for four years and it is fantastic to be back with this first F-35 deployment particularly to Iceland,” he said and underlined further improved facilities at Iceland and NATO’s support for helping to make this deployment happen.

For the next two weeks the Norwegian F-35 detachment will be working with their Icelandic hosts to accomplish the mission of providing Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to ensure Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs. Overseenby Allied Air Command, This is one example of how NATO ensures collective defence of the Allies in the Air domain.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Lieutenant-Colonel Stole Nymoen, commander of the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 detachment currently executing NATO's Air Mission in Iceland during the media event. Photo by Christian Timmig 
NATO's representative, Allied Air Command Deputy Chief of Staff Support, Air Commodore Jason Appleton, commended the Norwegian and Icelandic cooperation that underlines the cohesion of the Alliance and its readiness for credible deterrence and defence. Photo by Christian Timmig
The Norwegian Chief of Defence, Admiral Hakkon Bruun-Hansson, welcomed the first deployment of Norwegian fighter aircraft on a NATO peacetime operation since four years. Photo by Christian Timmig

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