The upcoming deployment of the fighters and some 130 military and civilian personnel will involve 24/7 readiness for the F-35 detachment under NATO's northern Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany; Norwegian Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) personnel will be working alongside their Icelandic Coast Guard colleagues in the CRC at Keflavik Air Base. Norway has manned the mission in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016 with their F-16 fighter aircraft; 2020 was the first deployment of Norwegian F-35s.
For Norway this is good preparation and practice for the Quick Reaction Alert mission that F-35s will fly out of Evenes from 2022 on
NATO member Iceland ensures constant air surveillance within NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System including production of the Recognised Air Picture for the airspace over Iceland and the North Atlantic. However, the Ally does not have its own military capabilities to conduct Air Policing. Therefore, since mid-2008 the Alliance has provided periodic peacetime deployments of fighter assets to meet Iceland’s operational needs.
A Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A aircraft at Keflavik Air Base during the NATO mission flying Air Policing sorties in March 2020. Archive photo by Torbjorn Kjosvoldt .
Since the beginning of the NATO mission ten Allies (Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States) have manned the regular peacetime deployment showcasing Allied cohesion and solidarity as well as deterrence and defence under the NATO banner.
During this 60th year of NATO Air Policing, the integration of fifth generation fighter aircraft highlights the Allies’ new capabilities available to the collective defence mission ensuring state-of-the-art protection of all Allies.