Monday, November 04, 2013

U.S. Air Force units arrive to Iceland in support of NATO exercise

by 1st Lt. Leah Davis 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KEFLAVIK, Iceland  -- Airmen from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, Spangdahlem Air Base, Ramstein AB, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tinker AFB and Robins AFB arrived at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, Oct. 28, 2013, to complete an air surveillance exercise in support of a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Iceland.

Squadrons of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft have been committed to the defense of Iceland and NATO Air North out of NAS Keflavik since the two countries signed a defense agreement in 1951. Once the U.S. withdrew its permanently-based forces in 2006, Iceland requested NATO options for airborne surveillance and intercept capability. The U.S. participates in one U.S.-sponsored exercise and in one NATO exercise each year in Iceland.

While the U.S. has no plans to resume a permanent physical military presence in Iceland, commitment to its security and prosperity has never been stronger. By conducting periodic air surveillance, the U.S. ensures a safe and stable future for Iceland while aircrews and maintainers gain important experience in a unique operating area.