On 14-15 October 2021, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Robert Bauer, was in Iceland where he met with key Icelandic representatives, including the Permanent Secretary of State, Mr Martin Eyjólfsson, and the Director General of the Directorate for Security and Defence, Ms Bryndís Kjartansdóttir. He also visited the NATO Control Reporting Centre Keflavík (CRC) and NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare Hangar.
The Chair of the Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer started his official Icelandic programme by visiting the NATO Control Reporting Centre Keflavík (CRC), where he was briefed on its role in providing air surveillance functions to the Alliance. “With Iceland’s strategic position, it only makes sense that they would keep an eye on the skies and the seas. While the CRC plays an important role for the Icelandic Air Policing Mission the airbase serves as a hub for air and maritime operations for NATO and the US”, clarified the Admiral. He also visited the USN Mobile Tactical Operations Center (MTOC), the NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare Hangar (ASW) and a US P8 aircraft.
The Admiral then headed back to Reykjavik to meet with the Permanent Secretary of State, Mr Martin Eyjólfsson and the Director General of the Directorate for Security and Defence (Chief of Defence), Ms Bryndís Kjartansdóttir. Discussions focused on security in the Arctic and the High North as well as the importance of protecting sea lines of communication and monitoring the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap.
Following meetings with a representative from the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, where Admiral Bauer was brief on the the important role played by civil preparedness and civil emergency services, he visited the volunteers of the Reykjavik Air Ground Rescue Team. The Admiral remarked that “Iceland is a country of great beauty but drastic weather – being unprepared can turn ugly fast. That’s why a quick and efficient response is the only solution in some situations. The work done by the Icelandic Coast Guard, the National Police and the Air Ground Rescue Team helps save lives”.
The Chair concluded his visit with talks with Njáll Trausti Friðbertsson, First Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Alþingi and Chair of the Icelandic delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.