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JFB Keflavik

Last modified: 18 Jan 2021, submitted by: tanx to r2d2 and S

Country: Iceland   

Latitude: 63° 58' 50" N     Longitude: -23° 21' 8" E

Area use / Military Branches: Active


6358'51"N 2238'51"W Naval Air Stn Keflavik / Keflavik airbase (KEF).
The military part of Keflavik Intl. Airpt.
Built during WW2 by the US Army as part of its mission to maintain the defense of Iceland and secure the northern Atlantic air routes, USAF returned in 1951 as Iceland Defense Force, operating a NATO base until 1961.

Former stationed units were:
1400th Air Base Group (1951 1960) ; 932d and 934th AC&W Sq (ADC), (1952 1957) ; - 667th AC&W Sq (1956 19570 ; 192d, 435th and 436th Fighter-Bomber Sq, (1952 1953) ; 53d Air Rescue Sq, (1952 1960) ; 82d Fighter-Interceptor Sq (1953 1954) ; 57th Fighter-Interceptor Sq (1954 1995) ; 35th Wing, (1992 2002) F-15C/D Eagle ; 56th Rescue Sq (1995 2006) ; 86th Airlift Wing, (2002 2004) F-15C/D Eagle ; 48th Fighter Wing, (2004 2006), F-15C/D Eagle

After that the base has been under USN jurisdiction 1961-2006. Being reassigned NAS Keflavik it was the host for all US defense activities in Iceland.
The major commands stationed were USAF 85th Group, Fleet Air Keflavik, the headquarters of the US.-provided Iceland Defense Force, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NCTS) Keflavik, US. Naval Hospital Keflavik and NAVFAC Keflavik. The positions of Commander, Fleet Air Keflavik and Commander, Iceland Defence Force were held by the same US Navy rear admiral. There were more than 25 different commands of various sizes and personnel from the US Army, USN, USAF, USMC and USCG in Iceland along with various NATO assignments.

KEF closed in 2006 and its facilities have been taken over by the Icelandic Defence Agency as their primary base until 2011. However the base is frequenty visited by US forces using it for emergency landings.

In 2016 the US began preparations to reoccupy the base and in 2017 they announced the intention to upgrade certain parts of the base. Currently slightly more than $14 million is being invested to build new hangars to house sub-hunting Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, according to Foreign Policy. The development at Keflavik is in reaction to provocations by Russian stealth subs near the Greenland, Iceland, UK (GIUK) gap; a naval chokepoint with large gaps between the 3 regions. The gap serves as a strategic gateway for Russian subs to access the Atlantic Ocean, There are however no plans to station personnel on a permanent basis. They will serve as rotational hubs where US. forces can move in and out, as needed.

Video footage 2018

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