Czech Gripens return to Iceland

UPDATE 24 JULY | Five Czech Air Force Saab Gripens return to Iceland this week for NATO’s Iceland Air Policing mission, a repeat of a similar deployment last year. The aircraft will arrive on Wednesday, supported by an Italian Air Force KC-767 tanker. First missions will take place next week.

Update: the Gripens arrived in Iceland with a one-day delay on Thursday 23 July

The Czech government in Prague agreed to the deployment of four JAS 39 Gripen aircraft earlier this year, with a fifth jet s a reserve. Seventy 70 service personnel are also involved.

This is the fourth deployment of Czech Air Force JAS-39 Gripen fighters to defend NATO nations’ airspace. In 2009 and 2012, Czech Gripens provided Air Policing over the Baltic States, and in 2014 they operated over Iceland for the first time.

US Air Force F-15C Eagles deployed to Iceland earlier this year.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Czech Gripen, seen in Iceland during the previous deployment. (Image © Tomáš Maruščák / Czech Air Force)