Command of the Iceland Defense Force (IDF) could be reverted from the US Navy to the US Air Force. Icelandic State Radio, RÚV, reports that a work group from the European headquarters of the US Air Force will visit the Keflavík base from July 30 to August 6 to discuss possible changes in command. Representatives from naval bases in Europe are also expected to join the meetings.
Command of the IDF was in the hands of the Air Force from 1952 – 1960. Chris Usselman a spokesperson for the IDF said that the possible changes were not in any way connected to the discussions between the Icelandic and US government regarding the future of the base in Keflavík. Those discussions, including negotiations concerning the jurisdiction of the Icelandic authorities and the defense force, and the finances of the base in Keflavík, will continue in September.
According to an official U.S. Navy web site (http://www.isb.is/english/default.asp?id=“/islandsbanki/news/2005q2)
“The Iceland Defense Force is a subordinate unified command of U.S. European Command and is composed of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel as well as local Icelandic civilians.
Strategically located in the North Atlantic at Naval Air Station Keflavík, IDF has been key in keeping the sea and air lines of communication open between North America and Europe for more than 50 years. IDF was created in 1951 when, at the request of NATO, the United States signed an agreement to provide for the defense of Iceland and the North Atlantic.
Today, It provides a dynamic and challenging work environment with the overall responsibility for all military operations in Iceland resting with the IDF commander, a Navy rear admiral.
There are more than 25 different commands of various sizes attached to Iceland Defense Force. Approximately 1800 U.S. military personnel, 100 DoD civilians, and 850 Icelandic civilians as well as military members from the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Denmark work on NAS Keflavik.”