The Italian Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft returned to Iceland for their second turn of executing NATO’s mission providing interceptor capabilities to ensure Air Policing over Iceland in June and July.
A group of ten journalists were linked into a virtual press conference together with Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo’, Permanent Representative of Italy to NATO, Colonel Michele Cesario, detachment commander of the Italian F-35 detachment at Iceland, and Commander Marvin Ingolfsson, Deputy Commander of Keflavik Air Base.
During the one-hour event, the media representatives were introduced to NATO Air Policing, the Icelandic Coast Guard role in supporting the NATO mission and the overall Italian contribution to the mission.
Colonel Cesario and his team presented an update on the NATO mission and demonstrated the F-35 pilot helmet, specifically designed for each pilot allowing them to fully exploit the capabilities of this modern 5th generation fighter aircraft. The chief of the Italian maintenance section then took the media on a virtual tour of the F-35 aircraft itself providing a briefing of technical capabilities of the weapon system.
With a question and answer session, the second virtual media tour to a NATO Fighter Detachment was wrapped up. The first such event had been organised in late May for the Spanish Air Force F-18 detachment leading NATO’s Baltic Air Policing in Lithuania.
In times of coronavirus restrictions this form of engagement is an alternative to bring the mission to the media and to showcase Alliance cohesion and cooperation and to demonstrate the mission of safeguarding NATO airspace continues unchanged.