Tag Archives: Iceland

New flock of US Eagles arrives in Europe

In a repeat of last year’s deployment, twelve US F-15C Eagles arrived in Europe over the weekend for six months of training and military deterrence. The F-15s are part of the 131st Fighter Squadron at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, and the 194th Fighter Squadron at Fresno Air National Guard Base, California.

Of the twelve air superiority aircraft, four will head to Iceland for NATO’s air policing mission at Keflavik airbase, while the other eight fly to Leeuwarden airbase in the Netherlands for large scale exercise Frisian Flag.

Theater Security Package

According to the US Air National Guard, the arrival of these F-15s marks the latest US Theater Security Package (TSP) to come to the European theater in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. More to the point, they act as a show of force to Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular.

Last year saw two packages of A-10C Thunderbolts and one of F-15s head to Europe as well. An even stronger signal was the deployment of four Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors to Germany.

The current deployment also involves 350 airmen. During their six month European stay, they will also forward deploy to other NATO nations, including Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania. In May, F-15s should also participate in an exercise in Finland.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): An F-15C Eagle readies itself at Fresno, California, for the flight to Europe (Image © Air National Guard /  Klynne Pearl Serran)

US Navy plans return to Iceland

The US Navy plans a return to Iceland if the most recent budget plans are anything to go by. The plans call for modifications to US facilities at Keflavik airbase in order to host the US Navy’s newest maritime patrol aircraft, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon.

Kevlavik was closed as an active US airbase in 2006 after being home to P-3 Orion patrol aircraft for years and a squadron of F-15 Eagles until the early nineties. Currently, the airfield sees use as a NATO airfield, hosting fighter jets for Iceland Air Policing duties every now and then. The airfield also doubles as Iceland’s civil international airport.

Submarines

The budget request involves funds for modifying hangars and other installations at Keflavik. The P-8 Poseidon gradually replaces the P-3 in the maritime mission, looking for and hunting submarines. The US Navy has ordered 78 Poseidons, with 33 aircraft already delivered.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A US Navy P-8 Poseidon, one of 78 ordered. (Image © Boeing)

Czech Gripens at home in Iceland

For the second time in just one year, Czech Air Force Saab Gripens and their crews made themselves at home in Iceland recently. Flying from Keflavik airbase, they provided Iceland with a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). The deployment began on 23 July and ended on Friday 28 August with 90 sorties and some 150 hours in the air chalked up. An impression in pics.

Support on the way over was once again provided by an Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Support on the way over was once again provided by an Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Iceland... isn't known for its perfect weather by any standards. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Iceland… isn’t known for its perfect weather by any standards. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Although at times the sun did it make an appearance. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Although at times the sun did it make an appearance. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Two Gripens over an Icelandic postcard. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Two Gripens over an Icelandic postcard. (Image © 21st TAFB)
More postcard stuff, this time provided by the setting sun. (Image © 21st TAFB)
More postcard stuff, this time provided by the setting sun. (Image © 21st TAFB)
A view from the office. (Image © 21st TAFB)
A view from the office. (Image © 21st TAFB)
A moody shot of this Gripen at Keflavik. (Image © 21st TAFB)
A moody shot of this Gripen at Keflavik. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Striking a pose. (Image © 21st TAFB)
Striking a pose. (Image © 21st TAFB)

 

 

PHOTO ESSAY: Czech Gripens guarding Iceland

For the second year in a row Saab JAS 39 Gripen jets of the Czech Air Force provide NATO member Island with is air defence. Five Gripens arrived on 23 July 2015, refueled in mid-air by an Italian Air Force KC-767.

The first operational missions were flown this week, flying from Keflavik Air Base – strategically located in between Europe and North America. From the arrival flight we’ve received some footage from our friends within the Czech Air Force, that we love to share with you.

The five Czech fighter jets are from 211. taktické letky (tactical squadron), which operates 14 of these aircraft. So far the Gripens have only been tasked with air defence, but that will change. As we reported earlier the Czech jets are on their way to do what they have been designed to do: multi-tasking that includes ground attack and close air support.

Sweden
This time, Sweden provided extensive support for the Czech mission in Iceland. Only six weeks were available for preparing the deployment. The Swedish provided an inventory of spare parts and ground support hardware and contributed by flying a Boeing C-17 from the multi-national Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) to Iceland. The Globemaster flew to Iceland twice, carrying approximately 50 tons of supplies.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): The Czech Gripen in its temporarily habitat: the airspace of Iceland (Image © Ivo Kardoš)

The shelter is the Gripen's home away from home (image © Tomáš Maruščák)
The shelter is the Gripen’s home away from home (image © Tomáš Maruščák)
Arriving at Keflavik Air Base (image © Tomáš Maruščák)
Arriving at Keflavik Air Base (image © Tomáš Maruščák)
Getting fuel en route to Iceland from an Italian tanker  (Image © Petr Daňko)
Getting fuel en route to Iceland from an Italian tanker (Image © Petr Daňko)
The C-17 provided by Sweden. (image © Milan Polách)
The C-17 provided by Sweden. (image © Milan Polách)

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