Norwegian jets arrive in Iceland on NATO mission

NATOSix Norwegian jets have flown to Iceland to provide the country with the airborne surveillance and interception capabilities it needs to meet its peacetime-preparedness requirements, announced NATO. The deployment of the F-16 fighter jets will give the North Atlantic nation the capability to react quickly should it need to carry out peacetime NATO air-policing duties. It will also ensure that NATO and Icelandic personnel have the correct training to support any future deployments.

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove described the Norwegian Air Force as “highly capable and professional”, noting that it adds great value to the alliance’s collective defence posture. The Norwegian planes will be in Iceland until 21 February, he confirmed.

On 3 February the jets will lead a training event with jets from partner countries Sweden and Finland, air-to-air refueling planes from the US and the Netherlands, and rescue helicopters and support personnel from Iceland. NATO said that the Iceland Air Meet 2014 training event is completely separate from NATO’s peacetime-preparedness mission.

The western military alliance explained that the partner nations will not be carrying out NATO air-policing duties or operational commands. Gen. Breedlove added that NATO is happy to be able to enhance its relationship with partner nations Sweden and Finland during the training mission.