US F-15 fighter detachment to fly air policing missions in Iceland

12 October 2020 (Last Updated October 12th, 2020 17:24)

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed a F-15 fighter detachment to secure the skies over Iceland.

US F-15 fighter detachment to fly air policing missions in Iceland
A US Air Force F-15D Eagle, assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, departs Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, for Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. Credit: USAF / Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte.

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed a F-15 fighter detachment to secure the skies over Iceland.

F-15C/D Eagles assigned to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron have flown to Keflavik Air Base in Iceland.

This measure is expected to aid Nato Air Policing operations.

The USAF has taken over the full control of the commitment of Nato to the region on 12 October.

Air policing operations are an important aspect of providing security to Nato member nations.

The missions aid in the collective defence of alliance nations such as Iceland, Albania, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Montenegro.

Nato Allied Air Command deputy chief of staff Operations USAF brigadier general Andrew Hansen said: “The routine deployment demonstrates Alliance solidarity and the transatlantic linkage at work.

“Air Policing is how the Alliance provides collective defence to its 30 member states. This peacetime defensive mission ensures the same level of protection to all Allies.”

In December last year, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft completed the contribution to the Nato Air Policing mission in Iceland to safeguard the country’s airspace.

The RAF sent four Typhoon fighter jets to the Keflavik Air Base to conduct the UK’s first Nato Air Policing mission in the Nordic country.

In August, USAF airmen from the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base (AB), worked together with Nato allies for exercise Icelandic Air Surveillance (IAS) 2019.