MARCOM Hosts Iceland Chief of Defence
28 Nov 2014
NORTHWOOD, UK – Today, Iceland’s Chief of Defence, the Minister Arnor Sigurjonsson, visited NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) to meet with MARCOM Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio and discuss issues of shared importance.
During the visit, Minister Sigurjonsson participated in a round table discussion with members of the MARCOM staff to exchange information and discuss coordination with Iceland on maritime operational matters.
"Iceland plays a key role in maritime operations that support stability and security in the High North,” said Rear Admiral Lazio. "The Arctic is a challenging environment for operations, where cooperation is key. NATO plays an important role in facilitating that cooperation, with Iceland and four additional Allies (Norway, Denmark, Canada, and the United States) working together as Arctic states.”
Situated between North America and Europe, Iceland embodies the transatlantic bond that NATO’s Secretary General has cited as of key importance to Allied strength and solidarity. Iceland’s forces play an important role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and the country helps to enhance relations with NATO partners Sweden and Finland.
Iceland also benefits from NATO’s air policing mission protections. This includes a periodic presence of NATO fighter aircraft based at Keflavik. The "peacetime preparedness” mission usually involves a deployment, typically of around three-four weeks, three times a year, of fighter aircraft from Allied nations.
Minister Sigurjonsson was previously Iceland’s National Representative to NATO’s Military Committee from September 2010 to July 2014.