Filling the I in the G-I-F-UK Gap

U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron VP-49 at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, 1971. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Going back to the first act of Red Storm Rising, American ASW aircraft based in Iceland was a mortal thorn in the side of the Red Banner Fleet’s submarines headed to the Atlantic. Originally established by the U.S. Army Air Force as Meeks Field in 1942 during the occupation of Iceland in WWII, by 1951 Naval Air Station Keflavik was up and running and remained in operation until it was closed in 2006 following the thaw in the Cold War.

Now civilian-run Keflavik Airport for the past 14 years, occasional NATO Air Policing units visit off and on to keep roaming Russian Bears away and, since 2016, Navy P-3s have increasingly passed through while new hangars have been constructed to accommodate P-8 Poseidons.

And, in an underreported story, ADM Robert Burke, commander of both U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-CNA) and Allied Joint Forces Command (JFC) Naples, said it was possible a squadron of Poseidons could operate from Keflavik again.

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