Iceland has formally joined the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), the group of ten northern European nations committed to upholding northern European security.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Iceland’s Ambassador to the UK Sturla Sigurjónsson this week signed a Note of Joining that welcomes Iceland into the JEF alongside the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
The Joint Expeditionary Force (the JEF) is a UK-led coalition of ten countries who share a commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law as well as a long history of operating together. We also share a determination to global and regional peace and maintaining the security of northern Europe.
The JEF is able to operate wherever in the world any two of its members choose to deploy together. Our particular focus is on the High North, the North Atlantic and the Baltic regions, where the JEF can complement national as well as NATO’s deterrence posture in the region. It is designed to be as flexible as possible and has utility across a broad spectrum of operational activities, including humanitarian assistance and Defence diplomacy.
Iceland’s deep understanding of the North Atlantic and High North environment and its civilian expertise will strengthen the JEF.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Iceland Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson said:
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said:
Iceland’s entry into the JEF also reflects its growing bilateral relationship with the UK on defence and security issues. Our two nations, both NATO Allies, share security concerns about the North Atlantic and the High North region. In 2019 the RAF patrolled over Iceland for the first time since the Second World War as part of the NATO Icelandic Air Policing mission.