Denmark deploys four F-16 fighters to safeguard the airspace of Iceland
This was decided by the Danish government after consultation with the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee on Thursday.
The deployment of four F-16 fighters in support of air policing over Iceland emphasizes Denmark’s support for its Nordic partner Iceland, and demonstrates Danish solidarity with NATO.
“It is important for Denmark to contribute to security and stability in our own backyard, including in the Arctic region. I am therefore pleased that Denmark again in 2018 is able to offer F-16 fighters to safeguard the airspace of Iceland as part of NATO’s Iceland air policing mission. This contribution is the right way to support our Nordic friend and neighbour Iceland, and it is also in line with our own geopolitical interests”, says foreign minister Anders Samuelsen.
“Once again there is a call for Denmark to provide its F-16 fighters. This time the task is NATO’s mission aimed at safeguarding Iceland’s air space and territorial integrity. I’m glad that the government has attained parliamentary support for the deployment of a Danish force contribution in support of Iceland Peacetime Preparedness Needs. This will be the fourth time Denmark contributes with fighter aircraft to this particular mission. Iceland is a close and important partner to Denmark. With this contribution Denmark furthermore demonstrates its wholehearted commitment to NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture vis-a-vis Russia”, says defence minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen.
Denmark’s contribution to Iceland Peacetime Preparedness Needs (IPPN) consists of four F-16 fighters and approximately 60 soldiers. It complements the current Danish contributions to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia (approx. 200 soldiers throughout 2018) as well as Baltic Air Policing (BAP). As for BAP the Danish F-16 fighters operate from a base in Lithuania until the beginning of May 2018.
Denmark was one of the first members to contribute to NATO’s air policing of the airspace of Iceland and has on three previous occasions contributed to the mission, most recently in 2015. This time the Danish F-16 fighters are scheduled for a deployment of approximately two weeks in April 2018.