Estonia to patrol Iceland airspace

  • 2009-03-09
  • TBT staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Air Force will participate in the Iceland airspacesurveillance mission in the composition of the Danish Air Force.

Two ground intercept controllers of forceThe Estonian officers of the twoground intercept controllers have begun directing Danish F-16 fighters that arepolicing the skies over Iceland, with the mission lasting till the end of March,military spokespeople said.

Denmark is currently using F-16 aircraft also to guard the Baltic airspace.

This is the Estonian controllers' first mission outside the Baltic states.

Iceland is one of the six NATO countries that lack airspace patrolingcapacity of their own.

A unit of the U.S. Air Force was stationed at the Keflavik base southwest ofthe capital Reykjavik until 2006. At present the island nation itself maintainsthe radars installed there and monitors the airspace, but it lacks groundintercept controllers and aircraft to patrol the airspace.

NATO member states have since 2007 taken turns to guard Iceland's airspace,contributing aircraft and specialists. The rotation system is used to policeBaltic skies as well.

Denmark supported the training of Estonian airspace monitors and groundintercept controllers in previous years. Before starting service in Iceland thetwo officers underwent refresher training with the Danish Air Force.