Hornet jets seen in the skies over Keflavik this March and April are the result of Operation Ignition. The six aircraft belonging to the Royal Canadian Air Force will patrol Iceland’s airspace as part of a NATO exercise this spring.
NATO’s Airborne Surveillance and Interception capabilities are being put to test for the benefit of to Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness mission. This deployment has been conducted annually since May 2008 for mutual benefit of both countries.
“As a leading member of NATO and a close partner with Iceland, Canada is committed to doing its part to help protect the integrity of NATO’s airspace,” said Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
The task force personnel and hardware is part of the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing, based in Quebec. A total of 160 people are involved. According to a statement, the Canadian military personnel will conduct the operations in Iceland, with surveillance and interception capability that could be launched immediately to intercept and identify unknown airborne objects within or approaching NATO airspace