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Recommends Reopening US Base in Keflavík

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Recommends Reopening US Base in Keflavík

Ásbrú, the former U.S. Naval Air Station in Keflavík.

From the Keflavík naval air station. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

In a report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), US Authorities are encouraged to reopen their naval air station in Keflavík, Iceland, and start monitoring Russian submarines in the North Atlantic, according to RÚV.

The report, titled Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe, was presented to authorities in Washington, D.C., July 22.

The report states that Russians have recently increased their undersea warfare, creating a threat to NATO and the US. As it is, NATO and its allies cannot react on short notice to Russian activities in a large part of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea.

The opinion expressed in the report is that the threat must be met by ensuring that the right capabilities are constantly ready at the right place and moment. For that purpose, it is recommended that the Keflavík naval air station be reopened. Norwegian authorities are also encouraged to reopen their submarine support facility in Olavsvern. Moreover, it is suggested that US authorities cooperate with Sweden and Finland to fend against Russian submarines.

You can read the report in its entirety here.

The US government announced early this year that its navy intended to keep a temporary facility here for the purpose of monitoring Russian submarines, by operating maritime control aircraft on a rotating basis. To make that possible, old US hangars in Keflavík underwent repairs.

In February of this year, then Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told reporters that reopening the US base in Keflavík had not been discussed and was out of the question.

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