Fighter Jets Over the Westfjords - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fighter Jets Over the Westfjords

Published June 11, 2016

Photo by
Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Wikimedia Commons

Residents of the sleepy northwest corner of Iceland were greeted with an uncommon sight last Thursday, as fighter jets flew over the area.

Bæjarins bestu reports that the F-16 fighter jets spotted flying and swooping over the Westfjords are a part of NATO air defense exercises. As Iceland has no standing army, but is a member of NATO, the country regularly allows air forces from NATO countries to visit, conduct exercises, and patrol the airspace.

This round of exercises, being conducted by Norway’s air force, began last May 30. 70 servicemen will be taking part in the exercises, along with NATO workers from Germany.

Icelanders who live in Egilsstaðir and Akureyri are far more used to seeing (and hearing) jet fighters overhead. Residents of the northwest are not as accustomed to NATO exercises, which they have criticised in the past for disturbing the wildlife.

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