26 Aug 2019

US teams up with NATO for Icelandic Air Surveillance

The US Air Force met with NATO allies to conduct air surveillance in Iceland as part of this year’s exercise.

Aircraft and pilots from the US Air Force were in Spangdahlem, Germany, for this year’s Icelandic Air Surveillance exercise. The exercise included scramble alerts and flying certification for future intercept missions.

Airmen and women from the 480th Fighter squadron at the Spangdahlem airbase established interception coverage over Keflavik Airbase in Iceland. This was to maintain the security and integrity of NATO airspace.

Captain Dominic Collins, 480th Fighter Squadron IAS Mission Commander said: “Certification means that we have proven that we can respond to an alert call within minutes. We can quickly have air power in the sky to respond to real or potential threats. It’s a testament to the hard work and professionalism of our crew here in Iceland.”

“Missions such as IAS help Airmen maintain currency and training requirements essential to readiness standards. Therefore I think this mission has nothing but good impact on all who are participating.”

“We absolutely could not perform at the high level of readiness, or provide the level of air power without the unwavering support of the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Icelandic leadership who are hosting us. We work closely together every day and we are constantly learning and improving by using their extensive experience in northern latitude operations. The level of cooperation between us, NATO and Iceland really reflects the common understanding that maintaining NATO fighter aircraft at Keflavik (AB) helps keep Icelandic airspace safe and secure”

During the exercise, personnel followed a different takeoff procedure. Rather than communicating through headsets, pilots and ground crew members had to act quickly to practice intercept missions and fast takeoff.

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