NATO Iceland airspace patrol begins this week

A file photo of a United States Air Force F-15C deployed to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland during an air surveillance mission. Iceland does not have its own airforce and the mission is a regular operation to keep the country’s airspace safe by having fighter jets in the area. (Tech. Sgt. Staci Kasischke
52nd Fighter Wing/U.S. Air Force)

A NATO airspace patrol is beginning in Iceland with an American squadron arriving this week.

“The implementation of the project will be with the same arrangements as in previous years and in accordance with the airspace security plan of the Atlantic Alliance for Iceland,” Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Sunday. 

The U.S. squadron includes 120 personnel and four F-15 fighter jets.

They’ll be based at Keflavík Airport along with squadrons from Atlantic Ocean Alliance countries that conduct submarine patrols near Iceland.

“The unit participates in the project together with the employees of the NATO command centers in Uedem, Germany and in the security area at Keflavík Airport,” the ministry said. 

Mission runs to end of June 

The Defense Department of the Icelandic Coast Guard will oversee  operations on behalf of Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the national airport and air navigation service provider of Iceland, Isavia. 

Approach exercises are also planned June 3-17 from airports in Akureyri, in the North, and Egilsstadir, in the eastern part of the country. 

The airspace patrol is slated to last until the second half of June.

Comments, tips or story ideas? Contact Eilís at eilis.quinn(at) 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada pledges billions for defence, falls short of NATO’s 2%, CBC News

Denmark: Denmark’s Arctic, North Atlantic focus: Canada among new defence attaché posts, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: US, Norwegian forces in Lapland for rapid reinforcement exercise, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Oslo looks to Brussels for strengthened security and defence, CBC News 

Russia:Russia to begin artillery firing near Norway’s Grense Jakobselv, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedes must mentally prepare for war, says military top brass, Radio Sweden

United States: White House releases U.S. Arctic strategy implementation plan, Eye on the Arctic

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