F-35 jets at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret

Norwegian F-35s in Iceland for airspace surveillance

Norwegian F-35s, along with personnel, will arrive in Iceland on Monday for airspace surveillance, Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.
January 14, 2024


“This will be the eighth time that Norwegians have contributed to the project,” the government said.

In all, Norway will have approximately 120 personnel and four F-35 fighter jets in Iceland to participate in the mission.

The personnel includes pilots, along with administrative, technical, security, and operational support staff.

The Iceland Air Policing mission will be based at at Keflavík Airport. 

Approach exercises are also planned from Jan 15-24 from airports in Akureyri and Egilsstadir.

Quick action alerts 

Iceland has no standing armed forces, and relies on NATO allies to conduct Iceland Air Policing missions three times a year on a rotational basis.

“Our participation in Iceland Air Policing shows our willingness to support NATO and our increased ability to solve missions with fighter aircraft both domestically and abroad,” Norwegian Squadron Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth “Chain” Vika, said in a statement this week.


The Norwegian forces says the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission is a crucial component of airspace surveillance.

This mission encompasses air traffic and airspace monitoring, as well as the identification, documentation, and potential escort of unknown aircraft out of Icelandic airspace and, if required, beyond the NATO area.

The Iceland Air Policing mission will last until approximately mid-February.

Staff from NATO control centers in Udem, Germany, will also participate.



This story is posted on the Barents Observer as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.



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