Polish military contingent set to start air policing mission in Iceland

Poland will send four fighter aircraft and 140 military personnel to Iceland on Wednesday, a military press official has said.

Iceland, a Nato member, has no air force of its own, so protection of its airspace is carried out collectively by Nato allies.

According to Captain Michal Kolad, a press officer of the Polish Air Force's 32nd Air Base, Poland is one of several Nato countries responsible for protecting Nato airspace over Iceland, assisting aircraft which find themselves in emergency situations, and, if necessary, safeguarding the population against airborne attacks.

The Polish contingent will encompass four F-16 fighter jets as well as 140 soldiers and army employees from the 32nd Air Base located in Lask, central Poland.

Launched in 2008, the Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland's Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC IPPN) mission establishes air surveillance and interception coverage over Iceland in order to maintain the integrity of the Nato airspace. Nato's air-policing mission in Iceland is not a permanent presence in the country but consists of three- or four-week missions per year performed alternately by selected Nato countries at the Icelandic Coast Guard Air Base in Keflavik, Iceland.

The Polish mission will run from August 5 to October 10, 2021.

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