by 2nd Lt Meredith Mulvihill
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/11/2015 - KEFLAVIK, Iceland -- The
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland visited Airmen of the 871st
Air Expeditionary Squadron deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, as part of the
Icelandic Air Surveillance and Policing mission May 4.
During his visit, Ambassador Robert Barber met with Airmen, watched an
F-15C Eagle training mission and learned about current operations of
IAS. He also flew in a KC-135 Stratotanker and observed an aerial
refueling of an F-15C.
The Ambassador said he greatly enjoyed the visit and getting to see service members in action.
"I have always been appreciative of the work of our military, so it was a
real privilege for me to see how you all accomplish your duties,
especially on a mission as important as Icelandic Air Surveillance,"
He said the U.S.'s involvement in the IAS mission is one of the ways the
U.S. maintains close relations to Iceland and keeps its commitment to
the bilateral defense agreement the two countries maintain.
"I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and dedication to
task of each person I met, and the seamless manner in which each
individual performed his or her role in the overall operation," Barber
said. "I only wish we could give more people the view I had to see the
importance of this collaboration between NATO allies."
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.