It was chosen by the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare). insert an F-35A unit in support of NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing Mission in Iceland.
The department will have 130 personnel, pilots, crew members, support and protection personnel, and four F-35A fighter aircraft.
The F-35As, based at Amendola Air Base (AB), Italy, will support Iceland’s air surveillance during their two-month deployment to Iceland.
The purpose of the mission is to conduct routine drills and training to meet Iceland’s mission preparation needs and monitor its airspace.
In addition, NATO’s Allied Air Command, together with authority over the fighters, will tactically direct the operations of the departments from the Northern Combined Air Operations Center in Uedem, Germany.
Col. Gianmarco Di Loreto, commander of Italy’s F-35A Iceland Task Force Air, said: “Having become the first ally to deploy fifth-generation fighter jets on a NATO mission abroad, Italy is demonstrating its sustained ability to deploy modern fighter jets for to provide operations to the Alliance.
“Our F-35A aircraft have already gained considerable international experience by participating in NATO air policing operations in Iceland, but also in Estonia.
“The staff have also performed national QRA duty from their home base and will continue to train crews to protect national and Alliance skies.”
According to Icelandic Coast Guard leadership, the operation will maintain a regular presence of NATO fighter jets to secure the country’s airspace.
The Coast Guard is responsible for conducting maritime operations, including search, rescue, security, surveillance and law enforcement, in the seas surrounding Iceland.
Participation in the NATO air policing mission is also the third deployment of the Italian F-35A in Iceland after 2019 and 2020.
Previously, in 2013, 2017 and 2018, the Italian Eurofighter Typhoon supported NATO’s mission to secure the airspace of its far north.