With the bear at the door, Iceland taps its NATO coin on the bar

A view of the U.S. Naval Air Station Keflavik, 19 August 1982. In the foreground are the ramp areas and facilities of the U.S. Air Force 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, with other facilities in the background. The two aircraft in the foreground are Lockheed P-3Cs of U.S. Navy patrol yquadron VP-26 Tridents. Also visible are three USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4C/D Phantom II fighters. In the background are three Lockheed HC-130 Hercules´, a Lockheed C-141B Starlifter, a Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker and a Boeing E-3A Sentry.

A view of the U.S. Naval Air Station Keflavik, 19 August 1982. In the foreground are the ramp areas and facilities of the U.S. Air Force 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, with other facilities in the background. The two aircraft in the foreground are Lockheed P-3Cs of U.S. Navy patrol yquadron VP-26 Tridents. Also visible are three USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4C/D Phantom II fighters. In the background are three Lockheed HC-130 Hercules´, a Lockheed C-141B Starlifter, a Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker and a Boeing E-3A Sentry.

The Icelanders only kinda considered themselves part of Denmark in the days leading up to World War II and maintained their own armed police on a quasi-military footing complete with Krag rifles and Madsen LMGs for defense against invasion. There was a brief period of semi-independence after the Germans rolled into Denmark on 9 April 1940 that lasted a month until a battalion of British Royal Marines showed up with the RN in tow on 10 May to peacefully occupy the windswept island nation, swapping out for the nominally neutral Americans a year later.

With the Icelanders declaring independence in 1944 and the war ending the next year, the Americans made a formal basing request in October 1945, to which PM Ólafur Thors rejected. Then came a stormy few years that saw the Keflavik agreement which led the Americans to withdraw in 1947, Iceland’s only full scale public riot (over its entry to NATO), and the founding of Naval Air Station Keflavik (NASKEF) in 1951 after the Americans came back in force.

Iceland was a reluctant and pretty socialist Cold War ally (there was even open conflict between the Icelandic Coast Guard and the RN during the long-running Cod Wars in the 1960s and 70s), so once the Soviets disappeared NASKEF became superfluous and closed in 2006 (along with the less publicized SOSUS station at Hafnir), leading the Yanks to go home once again though a handful of Air National Guard F-15Cs come back every so often as part of a semi-annual rotation with other NATO fighter elements.

Now, it seems the green light has turned back on to allow a permanent U.S. Navy presence at Keflavik in the form of several Boeing P-8 Poseidon sea control aircraft. 

The Navy has allocated around $21.4 million in its 2017 budget to renovate the aging base in order to be able to station  P-8s at the facility.

“The security environment in Europe, including in the North Atlantic, has changed for the past 10 years and Icelandic and US authorities agree on the need to reflect this in a new declaration,” states Foreign Minister Alfreðsdóttir.

Seems like everything old is new again.

And with that, I give you the Viking War Chant for Iceland’s returning soccer team.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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