The Danish Air Force – or 48 members thereof – begins a three-week airspace patrol of Iceland today. The patrol is a part of NATO exercises.
Project manager Michael Rosenkrands told Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, “It’s cold and windy and I can see some dark clouds on the way in over the country and I believe it may snow. But it’ll take more than that to stop us.”
Two F-16 fighter planes will be used to patrol Iceland’s airspace, with another two planes on stand-by in case of maintenance trouble, although not necessarily in the event of being shot down by an approaching enemy – part of Iceland’s military agreement with Denmark is that military exercises can take place here, but Denmark provides no security guarantees to Iceland in the event of an actual invasion or attack.
This will mark the third time that a NATO country has conducted exercises in Iceland since the last NATO agreement was ratified in 2006, with the French and the Americans making the earlier visits. Iceland spent about 26 million USD on its defense in 2008.
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