Military News

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

3rd AF Commander, Command Chief Visit Iceland

by 2nd Lt Meredith Mulvihill
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/28/2015 - KEFLAVIK, Iceland -- The 3rd Air Force commander and command chief visited service members of the 871st Air Expeditionary Squadron deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, as part of the Icelandic Air Surveillance and Policing mission April 23.

Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright, 3rd AF command chief, met with service members and had a mission brief on the current operations of IAS. They were accompanied by Col. Robert Novotny, 48th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Kenneth Bibb, 100th Air Refueling Wing commander.

Roberson and Wright also held an all-call where they answered questions from 871st service members.

During his visit, Roberson thanked the Airmen for their service and talked about the significance of the IAS mission.

"What we're doing here is critically important," Roberson said. "We are a NATO partner and one of our NATO allies, Iceland, has asked for help in protecting its airspace."

He said a key part of being a member of the NATO alliance is working with other member states such as Iceland to help reassure their safety and security.

"This is a unique mission most people never really get to see, and it shows how important air power is for us and for the world."

Wright said the visit was a great opportunity for them to see how well the Airmen stationed at Keflavik were working to innovate and carry out the operation.

"We really appreciate what everyone here is doing and what they bring to the fight," he said. "We've got folks from all around, and we appreciate how well they've performed the mission and integrated as a team."

IAS is a recurring NATO mission designed to maintain the security of Icelandic airspace. Since Iceland does not maintain its own military force, the U.S. and other NATO allies periodically rotate through Keflavik to provide fighter aircraft presence in the region.

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