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COMUSAFE gets inside view of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, talks to 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airmen during a visit here Sept. 22. The 493rd EFS has been performing NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission since Sept. 6, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, talks to 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airmen during a visit here Sept. 22. The 493rd EFS has been performing NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission since Sept. 6, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, watches two F-15C Eagles as they fly over during a visit to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. The F-15 Eagles are deployed from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, to support NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, watches two F-15C Eagles as they fly over during a visit to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. The F-15 Eagles are deployed from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, to support NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, poses for a photo with Airmen from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. Approximately 200 Airmen are deployed from around the globe supporting the Icelandic Air Policing mission. Air policing encompasses radar surveillance and identification of air objects. When required, fighter aircraft may be employed to assist in identification, or to assist and escort aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, poses for a photo with Airmen from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. Approximately 200 Airmen are deployed from around the globe supporting the Icelandic Air Policing mission. Air policing encompasses radar surveillance and identification of air objects. When required, fighter aircraft may be employed to assist in identification, or to assist and escort aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, coins Tech. Sgt. Delbert Schoonover, 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, for his superior performance supporting the Icelandic Air Policing mission here Sept. 22. Sergeant Schoonover is deployed from the 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, coins Tech. Sgt. Delbert Schoonover, 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, for his superior performance supporting the Icelandic Air Policing mission here Sept. 22. Sergeant Schoonover is deployed from the 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Maj. Paul DeFlorio, a flight surgeon with the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, briefs Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, on local civilian medical facilities and search and rescue Sept. 22. Major DeFlorio is deployed from the 492rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, and calls Ridgefield, Conn., home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Maj. Paul DeFlorio, a flight surgeon with the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, briefs Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, on local civilian medical facilities and search and rescue Sept. 22. Major DeFlorio is deployed from the 492rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, and calls Ridgefield, Conn., home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, watches as an F-15C Eagle taxis before takeoff during his visit to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. The F-15 Eagles are deployed from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, UK, supporting NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, watches as an F-15C Eagle taxis before takeoff during his visit to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron here Sept. 22. The F-15 Eagles are deployed from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, UK, supporting NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephen Linch)

KEFLAVIK, Iceland -- Gen. Roger A. Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, visited the Airmen of the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Sept. 22 to get an inside view of NATO's Icelandic Air Policing mission.

The visit allowed the 42-year Air Force veteran to learn about what approximately 200 Airmen, who are deployed from around the globe to make up the 493rd EFS, are doing to support the IAP mission.

The general met with Airmen, members of the Icelandic Defense Agency, the U.S. ambassador to Iceland and other embassy officials at breakfast before heading to the squadron's operations center.

Once at the operation center, the general received operations and intelligence briefings then witnessed alarms going off and 493rd EFS pilots scrambling to their jets for a training alert. Soon the F-15C Eagles were in the air and flying overhead.

After the flyover, the general met the Airmen responsible for maintaining the aircraft supporting the IAP mission. While at the hangar, General Brady answered a few questions and thanked everyone for their hard work.

"The Airmen here are doing a great job performing a mission that is not only important to the U.S. but also to NATO," he said noting the importance of the Icelandic Air Policing mission.

"I also appreciate the way you interact with our allies in Iceland, and everywhere you go," General Brady said. "You are really important ambassadors for our country, for our Air Force and NATO."

He then went back to the operations center to receive more insight on the KC-135 mission here, local medical capabilities and F-15 Eagle fighter tactics.

The general finished his visit to the 493rd EFS by touring the combined reporting center and receiving briefings on the center's long-range air surveillance radar capabilities.

The USAFE commander summed up his visit saying, "Your hard work and dedication shows in every aspect of what you are doing here. It is selfless Americans like you that allow us to provide support to countries all around the world. Thank you and keep up the good work."

While in Iceland, General Brady also met with the commandant of the Icelandic Coast Guard at ICG headquarters and officials at the U.S. embassy in Reykjavik.