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May 6 2022

Italian F-35A jets ready to safeguard skies over Iceland

RAMSTEIN, Germany - NATO's Northern Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, certified the Italian Air Force F-35A detachment ready to conduct NATO Air Policing of the skies in the High North at the end of April. In a long-planned deployment, the Italian jets will execute the mission in May and June. 

It is clearly evident that the Italian F-35A detachment is 100 percent ready to offer NATO a scramble capability ensuring sovereignty of our airspace in the High North

"Our NATO certification team – together with the Italian air control specialists of 'Loki' Control and Reporting Centre here in Keflavik – exposed the deployed Italian detachment to a challenging programme aimed at reviewing their tactics, techniques and procedures and verifying their readiness for the mission," said Lieutenant Colonel Massimo Cervone, CAOC Uedem lead during the certification process.

"Before the deployed fighter aircraft can start flying sorties on a NATO mission, the detachment must first demonstrate they are fully trained, current and able to deliver that mission to the highest standards," said Lieutenant Colonel Cervone. "It is clearly evident that the Italian F-35A detachment is 100 percent ready to offer NATO a scramble capability ensuring sovereignty of our airspace in the High North," he added.

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Two Italian Air Force F-35A fighters at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, during their certification for NATO Air Policing. 
Photo by Italian Air Force. 
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Lieutenant Colonel Massimo Cervone, lead of the certification team (first row left) and Colonel Gianmarco Di Loreto (front row second from left) and his certified F-35 deatchment. 
Photo by Italian Air Force. 
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Until the end of June, four F-35A modern fighter aircraft from Amendola Air Base, Italy, will fly NATO Air Policing missions out of Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. 
Photo by Italian Air Force. 

"I can proudly say that we were able to achieve this milestone for our 5th Generation jets earlier than required by NATO's timeline, without a single observation. All this was possible thanks to the exceptional teamwork of the women and men of the detachment," said Colonel Gianmarco Di Loreto, Commander of the Italian F-35A Task Force Air in Iceland." Starting today, our F-35A aircraft are available to accomplish the collective Allied mission, adding a 24/7 operational fighter capability to Iceland's air surveillance system, integrating with CAOC Uedem's Air Policing arrangements," he concluded.

Fully mission-ready, the Italian Air Force F-35A detachment will – until the end of June – be on stand-by to safeguard, 24/7, the skies over Iceland and continue the long-standing enduring mission of NATO Air Policing here. The Italian Air Force detachment is comprised of more than 130 women and men and four F-35A fighter jets. This is the third deployment to Iceland of the Italian 5th generation fighters after the ones in 2019 and 2020. Before that, Italy supported the mission with their Eurofighter Typhoon in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by the Italian F-35A Task Force Air in Iceland

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