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The United States and NATO partners Iceland, Norway, and the Netherlands on Monday began air-defense training activities over Iceland with alliance partners Finland and Sweden. This event, dubbed Iceland Air Meet 2014, marks the first time NATO assets have flown together with Finland and Sweden over Iceland, said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the alliance's Feb. 3 release. "This is a further step forward in NATO's excellent cooperation with Finland and Sweden," he said. IAM2014 runs through Feb. 21. Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish fighters are participating, as are US and Dutch tankers and NATO AWACS platforms, states the release. Iceland is providing search and rescue capabilities. "Thanks to this training event, our pilots, ground crews, and fighter controllers will be better trained, more experienced, and better able to deploy and operate together, if needed," said Rasmussen. Norway currently has fighters deployed to Iceland to protect that nation's air sovereignty. IAM2014 is separate and distinct from that mission, states the release. (For more background, see this earlier NATO release.)