The Nato Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) has announced that Norwegian F-35 aircraft have been certified to continue their Air Policing mission in High North region.

Provided by Nato’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany, the certification will allow the Norwegian forces to continue the Air Policing task until February.

Also called Iceland Air Policing (IAP), the task requires Nato member nations to deploy their combat forces and assets to fulfil the ‘peacetime preparedness and airspace surveillance’ requirements of Iceland.

As part of the mission, the deployed combat aircraft and troops keep a close watch to track and detect any unidentified aircraft in the Icelandic airspace.

For this mission, Norway’ F-35 jets are already deployed to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland.

The Norwegian F-35 fleet is originally based at the Ørland Air Base in Norway, while its Quick Reaction Alert base is at Evenes Air Base, Norway.

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RNoAF detachment commander lieutenant colonel Trond Haugen said: “It is important for Norway, being a Nato ally, to be a firm supporter of the Alliance and to show our commitment, willingness and capability in such a mission in Iceland.

“As a small country in Nato, we are also obliged to participate and make sure we do our part in the alliance.”

This further marks Norway’s third time to undertake IAP duties with new F-35 fighter jets. Earlier, the country deployed its F-16 jets to perform this task.

Apart from fighter assets, Norway has also deployed a team of around 100 personnel, including pilots, control and reporting personnel, technicians and logistic crew, to support the IAP mission.

The deployment will allow Norwegian forces to train and enhance their skills and capabilities to operate F-35 aircraft.