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Jul 7 2021

"NATO Air Policing in Iceland - We will continue to work together in the name of collective defence"

RAMSTEIN, Germany – The Allied mission safeguarding NATO airspace above Iceland continued with the second deployment in 2021 as the U.S. Air Force flew F-15s and supporting staff from RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, earlier today.

"NATO Air Policing in Iceland is another great example of how NATO allies address security threats in a true team effort," said General Jeff Harrigian, NATO Allied Air Command and U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. "Our allies in the High North are essential to ensuring regional security, and we will continue to work together in the name of collective defence," he added. 

NATO Air Policing in Iceland is another great example of how NATO allies and partners address security threats in a true team effort

Within NATO's 60-year-old collective Air Policing arrangements, the enduring mission in the High North is specific and unique. Instead of a permanent presence of Allied fighter jets, the Icelandic authorities have been working with NATO and the Allies to maintain a periodic presence at Keflavik Air Base.

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The United States Air Force F-15 from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, are back to Keflavik, Iceland. They will be at the base patroling the Icelandic airspace under NATO orders. Archive photos: Top and bottom courtesy Icelandic Coast Guard. Right by Stewart Jack.
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Tied into the Icelandic and NATO air surveillance network, the deployed fighter detachments carry out routine training and exercises. Upon certification by the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, they are on standby during their stay in Iceland ready to launch to keep the Icelandic airspace safe and secure if required by real world events.

Since 2008, the U.S. Air Force has conducted annual Air Policing missions in Iceland as part of the NATO commitment to Iceland's security and defence. The U.S. is committed to this mission and plans to continue supporting it in the future. This shows the transatlantic link within the Alliance and the collective resolve to ensure Iceland meets the requirements to stay prepared and to monitor and manage its airspace in peacetime.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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