NATO: F-35As return to Iceland with Operation Northern Lightning III

(To air Force)
01/05/22

For the seventh time the Italian flag was hoisted at the Keflavik air base, where 4 F-35A aircraft of the 32nd Air Force wing landed in recent days to support Iceland's air defense capability.

This officially concludes the redeployment activities of the Italian contingent that will take part in the NATO air policing operation Northern Lightning III which will see the men and women of the Air Task Force under the command of Colonel Gianmarco Di Loreto engaged for the next sixty days or so.

The mission's objective is to preserve the integrity of NATO airspace in peacetime by strengthening the sky surveillance activity of Iceland, which does not have its own air defense capabilities, and by conducting activities in the meantime. joint training with the Icelandic Coast Guard and with NATO assets possibly deployed on the Icelandic grounds.

The Task Force Air, which reports directly to the COVI (Operational Command of Vertice Interforze), is composed, in addition to the flight group and the technical and logistical personnel from the various departments of the Armed Force, also by a team of controllers of the Air Defense which, in collaboration with the Icelandic coast guard, will ensure the surveillance and possibly the interception, by means of the F-35A in alarm, of aircraft that are not identified or that represent a potential threat.

The redeployment of the TFA Northern Litghning III it was possible thanks to an important teamwork that involved numerous departments of the Air Force: the transport of personnel and material was possible thanks to the use of KC-767A aircraft of the 14th wing of Pratica di Mare and of C -130J of the 46 ^ Air Brigade of Pisa which also guaranteed, respectively, also the refueling in flight and the SAR (Search and Rescue) Oceanic capability during the transfer of the F-35A aircraft from the Amendola base to that of Keflavik.

Several "contact teams", made up of personnel from various bodies of the Armed Force, which have put in place all the technical and logistical arrangements necessary for the functioning of the TFA. In particular, the info-structure and systems necessary for the telecommunications sector were guaranteed by the 3rd division of the logistic command.