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Iceland: F-35 air exercise closes

NATO's Air Policing Northern Lightning III mission ends in early July

In late April, four F-35A aircraft from the Italian Air Force's 32nd Wing landed at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. The aim of the Air Policing Northern Lightning III mission was to train the capability to preserve the integrity of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) airspace in peacetime by strengthening the surveillance of the skies and coordination with the Icelandic Coast Guard. In early July, the fallback phase will begin, and on July 8, the men and women of Ami will return to Italy. 

"This is the third time the Air Force has returned to ensure the safety of the Icelandic skies with F-35s, intervening with an internationally advanced air defense performance. It is an eye that sees everything and distributes information in real time. A complete all-digital integration of the aircraft that cannot be intercepted, allowing the same pilot to write, read, exchange information and 'classified' codes in real time. An easy-to-fly aircraft that allows the pilot to manage missions throughout the scenario", explains the commander of Task Force Air in Iceland, Colonel Gianmarco Di Loreto, to the microphones of the Italian "Dire" news agency.

The mission is under the control of the Interagency Summit Operations Command (Covi) and never before has it been functional in a war scenario that so directly threatens peace. In Iceland, however, "the alert level is the same -said Di Loreto- we are on alert all the time" because on the Alliance's northern flank what is done is to always maintain a "peace time posture" aimed at "preventing the violation of the sovereign space of the skies".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency