Typhoon jets have arrived in Iceland where they will spend the next month protecting the airspace as the UK’s contribution to NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing Mission, say the Royal Air Force.

The jet fighters from 1(Fighter) Squadron will be stationed at Keflavik Air Base until mid-December before returning to their home at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

This is the first time in more than 10 years that the Royal Air Force has deployed aircraft to Iceland and is also the first time that the the UK has conducted the Icelandic NATO air Policing mission. The mission is being conducted by a rotation of NATO Allies and started in 2008 following a request from Iceland, which does not have its own Air Force.

Commanding the detachment of just over 100 personnel is Wing Commander Mark Baker who said in a release issued today:

“We are very excited to be here and are looking forward to starting flying operations. We have come here at the request of the Icelandic Government to provide a capable force designed to offer reassurance and police the country’s airspace.”

Air Vice Marshal Harv Smyth, the Air Officer Commanding 1 Group RAF, which includes 1 (F) Sqn said in the news release:

“I am proud to see RAF Typhoon Fighters deploying once more to support and defend one of our Allies as part of our on-going commitment to NATO.  This deployment is primarily designed to offer re-assurance to our friends, nevertheless, I am confident the Typhoons will secure the Icelandic skies in the same way as we do 24/7 365 at home.

Their presence makes clear to Allies that we stand by our NATO commitments, of which this is just one of many we offer to the Alliance in order to help preserve Euro-Atlantic security.”

Earlier this year, British Typhoons were deployed to Estonia where they conducted NATO Baltic Air Policing.

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Rokuth
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Rokuth

Too bad that they won’t be there during Christmas. If they were, they would have had the annual chance to intercept the ruddy UFO that keeps appearing at that time of the year from the North Pole… Although, in the past few decades that UFO has been having a heavier and heavier sooty smoke trail. Must be from all that coal its carrying…

geoff
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geoff

Hi Rokuth-is that the same UFO that appears regularly each year on the first of April?

geoff
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geoff

Ah Iceland! Most of you will be too young to remember the Cod Wars when the RN crossed swords with the Icelandic Coastguard, the nearest thing they have to a military. It was the strangest of conflicts which we watched on Black and White TV with the combatants shoving each other sideways but never actually exchanging fire. The RN sent a Rothesay or Leander to battle the tough little Icelandic vessels and the whole thing petered out without resolution as far as i can remember. Nowadays you can ‘cheat’ and google the whole story-mine is from the old fashioned way-memory!!… Read more »

geoff
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geoff

OK-have just ‘cheated’ and googled it. I didn’t realise it ended in a big negotiated win for Iceland! Still an interesting story

Heidfirst
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Heidfirst

Note the “more than 10 years”. What happened a little over 10 years ago? The Icelandic financial system collapsed & subsequently the UK & NL sued Iceland for over £5 billion. The Icelandic weren’t very happy with us … 😛

julian1
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julian1

Does NATO reimburse the UK for this deployment or any other air policing mission? I’m not saying they should but of course you hope that Iceland, Bulgaria and the Baltic nations are stepping up to their funding obligations. Note that UK MoD are happy to support and there’s no whinging about being “taken for a ride” etc etc like some NATO partners. As for the pilots, they get to see the Northern Lights every day!!