Behind the scenes: Portugal deploying F-16s to Iceland

Portuguese Air Force F-16M (MLU) Fighting Falcons from Esq201 “Falcoes” and Esq301 “Jaguares” departed Base Area 05, Monte Real, in the early hours of January 27 for a NATO Icelandic Air Policing detachment.

The detachment is to be performed between the dates of February 1 and March 30. Portugal detached a total of 85 military personnel and four F-16Ms serials 15101, 15106, 15107 and 15112 to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, with a stop and go for fuel at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. The gas and go in Scotland was delayed due to poor weather between the UK and Iceland. The four F-16s departed RAF Lossiemouth on February 2. 

Two F16 pilots
Two F-16M (MLU) Fighting Falcon pilots sign the books at the front line prior to departing for a NATO Iceland Air Policing detachment. Josef Campion

The detached force will be divided into two rotations of personnel, the deployment of the advanced team commenced on January 24, followed by the aircraft and remaining personnel on January 27. The total retraction of the detachment is scheduled for the 6th of April.

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