US Air Force F-15 fighter jets supporting NATO’s Air Policing mission at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, headed back to Lakenheath Air Base, United Kingdom after their successful deployment to Iceland throughout July. Air Defence training missions provide the necessary degree of training to NATO and Icelandic support personnel. Ensuring the Alliance can conduct a full-scale peacetime air-policing mission at the shortest possible notice if required by real world events.
“But now you get to do it in real life and it gives you a sense of purpose of doing something not only for our country but for our allies. At any time we can be called in. We know how these jets are, we know they are prepared – we trust them. You are always training and practicing, but now you get to do it in real life and it gives you a sense of purpose of doing something not only for our country but for our allies as well,” said Staff Sergeant Brian Nuyen, Crew Chief, 493rd Fighter Squadron.
Up until 2006, the US Air Force maintained a permanent force presence in Iceland. Following a NATO Military Committee decision in 2007, Allies deploy several fighter detachments per year to ensure availability of interceptor aircraft for NATO’s Air Policing in the area. Since 2008, the US has filled one rotation each year showcasing the Alliance’s transatlantic link and solidarity among Allies when it comes to credible deterrence and defence.