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
"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
"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
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.