Italian F-35As complete "Northern Lightning III" air policing operation in Iceland

Italian F35 Air Policing Iceland
Two Italian Air Force F-35A aircraft fly together over Iceland.

The Italian Air Force F-35A jets completed Operation "Northern Lightning III" at the Keflavic air base, Iceland, on July 4, 2022. Their mission there began on April 30 with the aim of safeguarding Iceland's airspace. Since the northern European nation does not have its own air defense, this task is ensured by Allied aircraft.

During the 60 days of deployment, the 4 Italian fighters carried out 268 take-offs, 473 flight hours and 28 T-scrambles. Among the various missions, they conducted joint training activities with the Icelandic Coast Guard and with NATO assets deployed at Keflavic airport in order to maintain high levels of interoperability between the armed forces of the Atlantic Alliance.

The Northern Lightning III marked the third redeployment of the F-35A aircraft from the 32nd Wing at the Keflavik Air Base for Air Policing tasks. It was the longest of those carried out so far by the Italian Air Force in Iceland. Previous missions there were conducted in 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

In 2019, Italy had the privilege of being the first member of the Alliance to deploy fifth-generation aircraft for a NATO operation, this milestone occurred on the occasion of an Air Policing mission in Iceland.

Italian F35 Air Policing Iceland

Italian F35 Air Policing Iceland

Italian F35 Air Policing Iceland

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Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Italian Air Force

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