Germany announces air exercise in Iceland in show of NATO solidarity

Eurofighter jets prepare to start during the visit of German chancellor Angela Merkel to the German Air Force Base in Nörvenich, western Germany, Monday, March 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
By John Cody
1 Min Read

For the first time in more than 10 years, the German Air Force is conducting an air exercise in Iceland.

According to a military briefing, Germany wanted to show that it could quickly redeploy air power to Iceland in a show of NATO solidarity during the Russian war against Ukraine. The island nation is a founding member of the North Atlantic alliance but does not have its own army, relying solely on its coast guard.

“We are doing it to show that if the German air forces are needed, we can be there in a few days.” Lieutenant Colonel Marco Brunhofer, commander of the 73rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, stressed on Thursday at the Keflavík air base in Iceland.

The Reykjavik administration has already made military facilities and bases available to NATO, but these have been underused since the end of the Cold War.

The exercise, called “Rapid Viking” began on July 28 and will last until August 10.

It involves six Eurofighter jets under the German flag from the 73rd squadron “Steinhoff.”

The German Air Force was last present in Iceland as part of a 2012 NATO air policing mission.

Share This Article