RAF Mildenhall helps secure Iceland’s sovereign skies
By Airman 1st Class Alexandria Lee, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 06, 2018
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing transported Airmen and supplies to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Surveillance mission there, July 30- Aug. 23, 2018.
U.S. Air Force Airmen and F-15C/D Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England, deployed to the air base to provide airborne surveillance and interception capabilities on behalf of NATO and Iceland, fulfilling an annual U.S. commitment to the alliance. Four of the F-15s will be used for a constant alert mission, ready to intercept and identify unknown aircraft within minutes of notification, while another nine will conduct valuable training in the Icelandic airspace.
During this period, KC-135s assigned to the 100th ARW will provide critical air refueling support, extending the range and flight duration of the fighter aircraft when necessary.
“The Bloody Hundredth plays a huge role with supporting our allies,” said Capt. Ryan Nelson, 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilot from RAF Mildenhall. “Air refueling is critical to what can be done during a mission, and without air refueling we are extremely limited. Refueling allows us to accomplish more training and offer more support to our allies and partners.”
This mission continues to demonstrate commitment to NATO and the security of Europe. The U.S. has conducted this NATO mission in Iceland annually since 2008.
“The U.S. routinely and visibly demonstrates commitment to our allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces,” said a pilot assigned to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron currently deployed from RAF Lakenheath. “It is representative of the U.S. commitment to our allies and to enhancing regional security.”
The U.S. Air Force presence in Europe and the relationships built over the past 70 years provide the U.S. critical strategic access to meet this NATO commitment and respond to any potential threat against alliance members.
Wings across the United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa major command are dedicated to supporting allies near and far and strengthening partnerships worldwide.