Norway Deploys F-35 Fighter Jets to Iceland in Support of NATO Air Policing Mission

This marks the fourth time that Norway has deployed its fifth-generation F-35 jets to support NATO's mission in Iceland
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 02:28 PM, January 15, 2024
  • 913
Norway Deploys F-35 Fighter Jets to Iceland in Support of NATO Air Policing Mission
Norwegian F-35 fighter jets

In a strategic move to enhance NATO's air surveillance capabilities in the High North, Norway has commenced the first of three Allied fighter deployments to Iceland, scheduled for the year 2024.

As of January 15, four F-35 fighter aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force are set to conduct NATO Air Policing sorties from Keflavík Air Base, Iceland, until mid-February.

This marks the fourth time that Norway has deployed its fifth-generation F-35 jets to support NATO's mission in Iceland, underscoring the nation's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of airspace in the region. The deployment is part of NATO's broader Air Policing arrangements, overseen by Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany.

Two Norwegian F-35s stationed at Keflavík will remain on standby 24/7, poised to scramble at a moment's notice to safeguard NATO and international airspace near Iceland. The missions will include vital training exercises and alert scrambles, aiming to identify unknown aircraft as a legitimate response to maintain the territorial integrity of the NATO Ally in the High North.

The 120-strong Norwegian detachment includes mission planners working in coordination with Iceland Coast Guard personnel to ensure the seamless execution of the mission. A dedicated Force Protection component is also part of the deployment, responsible for securing the F-35s stationed at Keflavík Air Base.

Norwegian F-35s normally operate from Evenes Air Base, located approximately 1400 kilometers north of Oslo, where they are on constant standby, ready to scramble 24/7/365 to monitor and protect Norway's own and adjacent airspace. This deployment to Iceland further reinforces Norway's commitment to contributing to NATO's collective defense efforts.

Under the NATO Air Policing arrangements initiated in 2008, Allies collaboratively deploy fighter aircraft to Iceland on a rotational basis. The objective is to provide and train interceptors, ensuring the safety and security of Icelandic airspace while integrating the Ally in the High North into NATO Air Policing. This mission is crucial in maintaining the collective defense posture of NATO Allies in the region.

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