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 Mar 4 2021

Commander Joint Force Command Norfolk, “Connecting dots in the North Atlantic”

KEFLAVIK, Iceland - During his visit to Iceland on March 3, 2021, the Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk, United States, underlined the importance of NATO’s vigilance, deterrence and promotion of stability in the High North.

Vice Admiral Andrew L. Lewis visited Keflavik, Iceland to meet with Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland and the leadership of the Icelandic Coast Guard. "Iceland sits on an important crossroads in the North Atlantic and plays a crucial role in securing the transatlantic strategic lines of communication,” said Vice Admiral Lewis. “As head of JFC Norfolk, I was delighted to meet with Icelandic authorities and witness first-hand the ongoing activity at Keflavik Air Base,” he added.
Complex, multi-domain operations that NATO and its members conduct in Iceland help ensure that we remain vigilant to any potentially dangerous developments, deter aggression, and promote security
 

"I'm really impressed with the Allied operations here in Keflavik. It speaks to the professionalism of the Icelandic hosts, specifically their Coast Guard, when you see what they have done to maintain operational capability while protecting public health at every turn,” Vice Admiral Lewis said. “The NATO Control and Reporting Centre they operate enables the success of NATO Air Policing Missions conducted by Allied Air Command at Ramstein,” he added.

NATO’s Allied Air Command at Ramstein, via the Alliance’s northern Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, oversees the enduring Air Policing mission across the European continent; the mission the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 detachment conducts in Iceland is an essential contribution to the Alliance’s vigilance and deterrence in the High North.   

NATO’s Allied Air Command at Ramstein, via the Alliance’s northern Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, oversees the enduring Air Policing mission across the European continent; the mission the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 detachment conducts in Iceland is an essential contribution to the Alliance’s vigilance and deterrence in the High North. 

"I was glad I had the chance to meet with the members of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who are conducting their second Air Policing Mission with F-35s in Iceland. These aviators, with cutting-edge technology and regional expertise, pack a big punch for NATO and help keep the airways secure,” he said when handing over, on behalf of the CAOC, the certificate that confirms F-35s mission-readiness.

“It was also great to meet with the US Navy personnel operating our P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft out of Keflavik, conducted on the basis of the Bilateral Defence Agreement between Iceland and the USA. They, too, bring amazing technical know-how and state-of-the-art sensors, that together with NATO operations builds a comprehensive situational understanding in the Greenland-Iceland-UK Gap,” Vice Admiral Lewis said.

“These complex, multi-domain operations that NATO and its members conduct in Iceland help ensure that we remain vigilant to any potentially dangerous developments, deter aggression, and promote security,” concluded Vice Admiral Lewis.

As one of NATO’s newest command authorities, JFC Norfolk, United States has reached its initial operational capability in September 2020. The JFC is part of the Allied Command Operations structure and provides a joint multi-national operational command responsible for the North Atlantic, the High North and adjacent littorals.


Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis (right) handed over, on behalf of the Commander of Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, the certificate declaring Lieutenant Colonel Tron Strand's F-35 detachment mission-ready for NATO Air Policing in Iceland. Photo by Ole Andreas Vekve.
"These complex, multi-domain operations that NATO and its members conduct in Iceland help ensure that we remain vigilant to any potentially dangerous developments, deter aggression, and promote security," said Vice Admiral Lews during his visit to Keflavik Air Base. Photo by Ole Andreas Vekve.
During his visit to the U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon MPA unit at Keflavik Air Base, Vice Admiral Lewis, was accompanied by the Commander Jon Gudnason (second from right)  from the Icelandic Coast Guard and Lieutenant Colonel Vestein Pettersen, Deputy Commander of the Norwegian F-35 detachment (right). Photo by Ole Andreas Vekve.
Vice Admiral Lewis was impressed by the "cutting-edge technology and regional expertise" the Norwegian F-35 detachment brought to NATO's Air Policing mission in Iceland. Photo by Ole Andreas Vekve.

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