Six Italian Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft landed in Keflavik Air Base, Iceland on June 9 for a six- week NATO deployment safeguarding the airspace over and near the Ally in the High North.
“Air Policing is a very important duty for the Alliance. In that regard, even in these difficult times, Italy is deploying F-35 fighters to Iceland to fulfil its task,” said Colonel Michele Cesario, Commander of the Italian F-35 detachment in Iceland after the arrival of the fighter aircraft at Keflavik Air Base. “We are very pleased to be back and we will continue to build on the relations with our hosts from the Icelandic Coast Guard.”
“Together, we have been working hard to ensure that current COVID-19 restrictions will not have any impact on the operation itself and I am confident the results will show that we made it,” Colonel Cesario said. “This operation represents another excellent example of the cohesion among NATO members, ” he added.
This is the second time after the spring of 2019, that Italy deploys its fifth-generation fighter aircraft to the Allied mission providing interceptor capabilities to safeguard Icelandic airspace. In 2013, 2017 and 2018, Italy deployed their Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft in support of the mission in the High North.
The Italian F-35 aircraft fleet achieved initial operational capability in November 2018 and is based at Amendola Air Base.