A North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) submarine arrived at Reykjavik harbor today for an annual submarine surveillance exercise that will take place in Icelandic waters for the first time, reports Vísir. The exercise starts today and runs until July 6.
The submarine belongs to the Norwegian navy, and another submarine from Germany is expected later. In all, five submarines will participate in the exercise, which is to take place south of Vestmannaeyjar islands in southern Icelandic waters, and the other three submarines will head directly to that location.
The submarine surveillance exercises, dubbed Dynamic Mongoose 2017 this time, have been carried out annually since 2012, but always in Norwegian waters up until now, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to the two submarines entering the port, six warships will be docked at Sundahöfn, a containership port in the Laugarnes district of Reykjavík, over the weekend. The exercise draws on assets and personnel from nine NATO members: the US, Norway, France, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Canada, Poland and the Netherlands. These allies are contributing five submarines, nine frigates and one research vessel, as well as six toeight aircraft and helicopters. More than 2,000 crew members will participate in the exercise.
Iceland is providing facilities within the security area at Keflavík Airport and the Icelandic Coast Guard is participating in the exercise with the vessel Týr, flight crews and search and rescue helicopters. Normally the NATO Command in Northwood, United Kingdom, would command such an exercise but for the first time the command will be moved to the security area at Keflavík Airport, continued the ministry’s press release.
Iceland has been a member of NATO since its foundation in 1949.