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Ambassador Colella and Consul Björnsson visit the Task Force of the Italian Air Force at Keflavik

Date:

04/01/2019


Ambassador Colella and Consul Björnsson visit the Task Force of the Italian Air Force at Keflavik

On March 28th Ambassador Alberto Colella and Consul Pétur Björnsson visited the Italian Task Force deployed at the Keflavik airbase for control and surveillance of the Icelandic airspace.

After similar missions in 2013, 2017 and 2018, this is the fourth time that Italian combat aircrafts are deployed for NATO Air Policing missions in Iceland.

During the four-week deployment, the Italian Air Force contingent - four Eurofighter Typhoon fighters and six pilots - is conducting surveillance of Icelandic and NATO airspace and participating in training activities to sharpen capabilities, skills and interoperability both with US armed forces in Iceland and the Icelandic Coast Guard.

The Italian Air Force detachment in Keflavik consists of 130 men and is commanded by Colonel Daniele Porelli.

On the night before the visit, between 27th and 28th March, the Italian fighters had been involved in an operation with two Russian long-range strategic bombers, which were flying in the NATO airspace surveillance area off Iceland. After the interception, the Russian aircrafts left the airspace controlled by the Italian Task Force.
The Icelandic Coast Guard reported the incident in a statement (http://www.lhg.is/frettir-og-fjolmidlar/frettasafn/frettayfirlit/russneskar-herflugvelar-a-islenska-loftrymiseftirlitssvaedinu).

The visit at Keflavik coincided, significantly, with the celebration of the Italian Air Force Day marking the 96th anniversary since the Italian Air Force was founded in 1923. The Ambassador referred to the anniversary in the speech he addressed to members of the Task Force, along with the appreciation of the Italian Government and the country for their activity.

The presence of Italian Air Force in Iceland has a long-standing history: the stopover made in Iceland by Italo Balbo in 1933 on his way to America is still part of the collective memory of the country.

keflavik 31 marzo 2019 task force italia


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