Four Typhoon jet fighters have left Iceland as the Royal Air Force completed its first NATO Air Policing mission in the country.
According to the Royal Air Force, this has been the first time since World War II that an RAF fighter squadron has been based in Iceland, close to the Arctic Circle.
“The RAF deployment formed part of the ongoing Air Policing mission that NATO conducts at the request of Iceland, a country five times the size of Wales but with a population of just 360,000 and no military force.”
Wing Commander Mark Baker, 1(Fighter) Squadron, said:
“We’ve achieved the mission, first and foremost, ensuring the integrity of NATO airspace. I think we’ve also developed some excellent relationships with the people of Iceland.”
Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, said:
“It is safe to say that this first RAF NATO Air Policing peacetime mission in Iceland has been a success. We appreciate the support from a trusted ally and neighbour, and we look forward to welcoming the RAF back for its next mission in Iceland.”
As well as being on 24-hour stand-by to scramble in response to unidentified aircraft flying towards Icelandic airspace, the Typhoons flew 59 training sorties and more than 180 practice intercepts.