Thursday 6 January 2022 was a historic day for the Royal Norwegian Air Pressure (RNoAF, Forsvaret). On this present day, Norway’s new F-35s formally took over the QRA mission, ending the F-16 fleet’s 42 year-long mission serving Norway and NATO. As a result of heavy snowfall and low visibility, the unique program was shortened. Nevertheless, the occasion was nonetheless a historic milestone for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Royal Norwegian Air Pressure. The formal switch of authority from F-16 to F-35 happened at Evenes Air Base in northern Norway at 11:45 on Thursday 6 January 2022.

1980, Norway began working its fleet of F-16s, and this fleet has now retired. Within the 2010s, Norway determined to exchange the F-16 fleet with a fleet of 52 new F-35A fighter jets. In 2015, Norwegian personnel consisting of pilots and technicians arrived at Luke Air Pressure Base in Arizona, USA. From there, they began educating each pilots and technical personnel to function the brand new fighter jets. The primary Norwegian F-35 touched Norwegian floor in November 2017 at Ørland Air Base, central Norway. The F-35 fleet has its house base at Ørland, however a few of the F-35s will probably be primarily based at Evenes to conduct the QRA mission. The F-35 system and group have additionally served in two worldwide missions – Iceland Air Policing in 2020 and 2021.


Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Pressure, Main Normal Rolf Folland, in entrance of one of many F-35s primarily based at Evenes. (Photograph by Torbjørn Kjosvold, Norwegian Armed Forces)

For the previous many years, Norway’s fleet of F-16s has carried out the Fast Response Alert (QRA) on behalf of NATO from Bodø Air Base in northern Norway. Now, the F-35s deal with this mission from Evenes Air Base slightly additional north. Occasions are at the moment underneath improvement and development to deal with each F-35s and the approaching fleet of P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrolling Plane. Norway conducts the QRA mission on behalf of NATO. Which means Norway repeatedly has fighter jets on standby always. If unknown plane come near Norwegian – and NATO – airspace, the F-35s are scrambled and airborne inside quarter-hour. Then they discover, observe and doc any unknown plane that come near Norway and NATO airspace.

Evenes Air Base is positioned alongside the border of Nordland County and Troms and Finnmark County in northern Norway. Evenes is would be the Air Pressure’s most vital base within the north, serving as a fancy base for the F-35, along with being the principle base for the approaching fleet of P-8 Poseidon. The F-35 and P-8 are among the many most essential capacities within the protection of Norway. Evenes Air Base additionally has an air protection battalion and a pressure safety squadron – serving along with the bottom’s base protection. A number of assist capabilities have moreover been established. By 2025, about 500 workers and 300 conscripts will probably be working on the airport. The Norwegian fleet of 52 F-35s will probably be full and absolutely operational by 2025.