F-35 is sent on NATO missions to Iceland

F-35 fighter.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

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For the first time, four Norwegian F-35 fighters will participate in service abroad. The mission is to protect Iceland’s airspace.

“The mission for the crew I think is important because it is actually an armed mission. Finally, we get to do armed what we have been training for a long time,” says Colonel Lieutenant and commander of the 332 Squadron at Ørland fighter aircraft base, Ståle Nymoen, to NRK.

Norway now has a total of 15 F-35 fighter jets. After two years on Norwegian soil, four of them will be deployed for the first time on a foreign mission with weapons. NATO has given Norway the task of protecting Icelandic airspace.

Iceland does not have its own air defense. In 2006, NATO took over the defense of the airspace, in a kind of rolling arrangement. Now it is Norway’s turn.

“We must be on standby with two planes and be able, if NATO wishes, to get into the air and identify aircraft. Civilian, military or aircraft we do not necessarily know what they could be,” says Nymoen.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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