By: Air Task Force-Iceland Public Affairs
Members of 21 Aerospace Control and Warning (AC&W) Squadron and 22 Wing Operations have deployed to Keflavik Air Base as part of Air Task Force-Iceland (ATF-Iceland) for Operation REASSURANCE.
“Maintaining an accurate recognized air picture, passing that to higher headquarters and controlling fast moving aircraft in sometimes tight airspace; it’s a big responsibility,” said the team’s senior officer, Major John Verran.
This team of ten is normally based at 22 Wing North Bay, Ontario, in a NORAD role where they monitor and track air traffic within Canadian airspace and its approaches. The team has taken their skills as Aerospace Controllers and Aerospace Control Operators to Iceland, the only NATO nation without a standing military. This time, their role is to help fulfil the Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs mission. This long-standing NATO mission involves fighter aircraft basing out of Iceland to provide surveillance of Iceland’s airspace, as well as launching rapidly (“scrambling”) to intercept and identify unknown aircraft if needed.
Serving alongside Icelandic Coast Guard personnel at the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) in Keflavik, on a rocky, often wind-swept peninsula west of Reykjavik, the team performs a critical command and control function. Working as a close crew, they ensure mission execution and the passage of accurate information…