- Icelandic Coast Guard
Icelandic Coast Guard
Active 1920 Country Iceland Role National Defence, Law enforcement, Maritime and Aviation Search and Rescue, Counter Terrorism, Minesweeping, Explosive Ordinance Disposal and other tasks.   Size 3 x ships
1 x plane
2 x Helicopters
1 x Survey boat
165 x Officers and men
Nickname Gæslan (The Guard) Motto ,,Við erum til taks‘‘ ("Always prepared") Engagements World War II
Commanders General Director R.Adm Georg Lárusson Chief of Operations Capt. Halldór B. Nellett Chief of Aeronautical division Cdr. s.g. Sindri Steingrímsson Insignia Naval Ensign Aircraft flown Patrol 1 Bombardier DHC-8-Q314 Transport 2 Aérospatiale AS-332L1 Super Puma
The Icelandic Coast Guard is the service responsible for Iceland's coastal defense and maritime and aeronautical search and rescue. Origins of the Icelandic Coast Guard (Landhelgisgæsla Íslands or Landhelgisgæslan) can be traced to 1859, when the corvette Ørnen started patrolling Icelandic waters. In 1906, Iceland's first purposely built guard-ship, Islands Falk, began operation. Iceland's own defense of its territorial waters began around 1920 and the Icelandic Coast Guard was formally founded on July 1, 1926. The first cannon was put on the trawler Þór in 1924 and on June 23, 1926 the first ship built for the Coast Guard, named Óðinn, arrived in Iceland. Three years later, on the 14 July 1929 the coastal defence ship Ægir was added to the Coast Guard fleet.
The Icelandic Coast Guard played its largest role during the Cod Wars between 1972 and 1975, when the Coast Guard ships would cut the trawl wires of British and West German trawlers, in order to protect sealife from overfishing, and engaged in confrontations with Royal Navy warships.
The Icelandic Coast Guard's (ICG) primary mission is the defending the Icelandic sovereignty, integrity of the territorial waters, maintaining Icelandic law and order inside the 200nm wide Economic zone as well as other vital missions such as Search and Rescue. The Coast Guard operates JRCC-Iceland which is responsible for search and rescue of vessels and aircraft in Iceland's search and rescue region (SRR) according to International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual. Additionally the ICG is in the charge of defusing Naval mines, most of which were laid during the Second World War, and monitoring fisheries in International waters outside of the Icelandic Economic zone in order to blacklist any vessel partaking in unregulated fishing and thus bar them from receiving services from any member of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission in order to make unregulated fishing unprofitable. The Icelandic Coast Guard also occasionally operates within Greenlandic and Faeroese waters, following a bilateral agreement with Denmark regarding mutual aid in security, rescue and defence matters.
The Icelandic Coast Guard is also in charge of the Iceland Air Defence System, which operates four ground-based AN/FPS-117v5 air surveillance radars and a control and command centre.
In the 1990s the Coast Guard started hosting exercises such as "Northern Challenge" which had military units from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom, among others, participating along with the Icelandic Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has also taken part in Peacekeeping Operations on behalf of the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit, although while usually using their own rank insignia, uniforms and weapons.
Currently the Icelandic Coast Guard fleet consists of three Offshore patrol vessels (OPV) and one coastal hydrographic vessel. In 2011 the Coast Guard received the new ICGV Þór built by the Asmar shipyard in Talcahuano, Chile.  ICGV Týr, an Ægir-class, is the second youngest, built by Århus Flydedok a/s and launched in 1975. ICGV Ægir an Ægir-class is ICGV Týr's sister-ship, built by Ålborg Værft a/s and launched in 1968. Each ship is equipped with two or more rigid inflatable boats of various sizes and armed with a 40 mm Bofors cannon. Various kinds of small-arms as well as other man portable weapons are also carried onboard each of the ships. Týr and Þór are also equipped with sonar systems and the Ægir class sisterships have flight decks and a hangar for a small helicopter. While the Coast Guard currently doesn't operate small enough helicopters to use the hangars, the flight decks are often used by the helicopters of the Aeronautical Division on various missions. The coast guard has a 64 ton hydrographic boat as well, named Baldur, it was built by Vélsmiðja Seyðisfjarðar in 1991. This vessel has no mounted weaponry but it has nonetheless been used for port security and fishery inspection.
The aeronautical division
The Coast Guard's Aeronautical Division was founded on December 10, 1955 when a Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina flying boat was acquired. It was originally from the Iceland Defense Force but was damaged near Langanes in 1954. It was registered as TF-RAN and nicknamed Rán. The Catalina flew variously armed and unarmed, and in one instance the crew used a broomstick to force disobedient fishermen to sail directly to nearest port.
Currently the Icelandic Coast Guard operates two Aerospatiale AS-332L1 Super Puma helicopters, which are registered as TF-LIF and TF-GNA. As a response to the withdrawal of the Iceland Defense Force at the year 2006 the Coast Guard operated four helicopters, but due to the consequences of the economical crisis in Iceland 2008 the number of helicopters had to be reduced to two.
The Coast Guard also operates a single Bombardier DHC-8-Q314, registered as TF-SIF, modified for maritime surveillance and reconnaissance. This plane has been extensively modified by FIELD to carry a modern Mission Management System and suite of surveillance sensors, air operable door and communications/navigation equipment. It is occasionally also used for surveillance of volcanic eruptions, e.g. of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.
Unlike the fleet, aircraft of the Icelandic Coast Guard have standard Icelandic civilian registers, as the Alþingi (parliament) has never agreed on laws for military or government aircraft. Over the time since the division was formed the regulations for standard civilian aircraft have become more restrictive. As a result the Coast Guard can no longer operate military aircraft like it did in the past. Nevertheless, current helicopters are outfitted with latest generation U.S. night vision equipment, reserved for U.S. armed forces and the armies of their allies and thus the only civilian registered aircraft in the world, so equipped.
Ships and aircraft
All major vehicles of the Icelandic Coast Guard are currently named after beings from norse mythology.
- Currently operated vessels
- ICGV Þór (III) an Offshore patrol vessel commissioned in late 2011 and the flagship of the service. Named after Þór the god of thunder, lighting and troll slaying.
- ICGV Týr (II) an Ægir-class Offshore Patrol Vessel named after Týr, the god of combat and heroism.
- ICGV Ægir (II) an Ægir-class Offshore Patrol Vessel named after Ægir, the king of the sea.
- ICGV Baldur a Hydrographic vessel named after Baldur, god of beauty and more.
- Currently operated aircraft
- TF-SIF is a Bombardier DHC-8-Q314 named after Sif, goddess and wife of Þór, the god of thunder and trollslaying.
- TF-LIF is an Aérospatiale AS-332L1 Super Puma named after Líf, the only woman who will survive Ragnarök.
- Currently operated rental aircraft
- TF-GNA is an Eurocopter AS 332L1 Super Puma
- Decommissioned vessels
- ICGV Óðinn (I)
- ICGV Gautur, originally named Óðinn (II) but renamed when a new Óðinn (III) arrived, Gautur is one of Óðinn's pseudonyms.
- ICGV Óðinn (III) an Offshore Patrol Vessel named after Óðinn the allseeing father of the gods.
- ICGV Baldur (I), a fast patrol boat used for less than a year and returned because of bad characteristics in rough seas.
- ICGV Baldur (II), an armed trawler.
- ICGV Bragi, named after Bragi the god of poetry. A fast patrol boat used for less than a year and returned because of bad characteristics in rough seas.
- ICGV Njörður, named after Njörðr the god of wind, fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship, sailing and fishing. A fast patrol boat used for less than a year and returned because of bad characteristics in rough seas.
- ICGV Týr (I), a whaler (Hvalur 9) borrowed during the second Cod War usually called Hval-Týr.
- ICGV Þór (I)
- ICGV Þór (II)
- ICGV Ægir (I)
- Other historical vessels that haven't adhered to the Norse mythology tradition
- ICGV Albert, patrol boat.
- ICGV Árvakur, a lighthouse tender and patrol ship decommissioned in the 1970s.
- ICGV María Júlía, patrol ship named after one of those who financed her construction.
- ICGV Sæbjörg, a patrol and rescue ship.
- ICGV Ver, an armed trawler
- Decommissioned aircraft
- TF-RAN (I) Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina, named after Rán.
- TF-SIF (I) Douglas C-54 Skymaster
- TF-SYR Fokker F27 Friendship-200
- TF-EIR Bell 47J
- TF-GNA Sikorsky S-62
- TF-HUG Bell 47G named after Huginn one of Odin's ravens who flew over the world every morning to gather information for him.
- TF-MUN Bell 47G named after Muninn one of Odin's ravens who flew over the world every morning to gather information for him.
- TF-GRO (I) Hughes 500C Defender
- TF-RAN (II) Sikorsky S-76 Spirit
- TF-GRO (II) Hughes 500C Defender
- TF-GRO (III) Eurocopter AS 350B Ecureuil
- TF-SIF (II) was an Aérospatiale SA 365N Dauphin II, which was operated from 1984 to 1985
- TF-SIF (III) was an Aérospatiale SA 365N Dauphin II It was bought new in 1985 but was destroyed after an emergency sea landing in July 2007 
- TF-SYN was a Fokker F-27-200 Friendship, which was bought new in 1976 and used until 2009. Currently preserved at the Aviation Museum of Akureyri.
- TF-EIR is an Aérospatiale SA-365N-1 Dauphin 2
In addition the Coast Guard has rented or borrowed a number of civilian vessels and aircraft for shorter periods, which are not listed.
- Glock Pistol
- Heckler & Koch G3 rifle
- M14 rifle
- Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun
- Steyr SSG 69 sniper rifle
- Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun
- HK21 machine gun
- Browning M2 machine gun
- Lee-Enfield bolt action rifle (retired)
- 40 mm Bofors auto-cannon
- 57mm M1898 Hotchkiss cannon (retired)
Ranks of the Icelandic Coast Guard
NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student Officer Iceland No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent Ranks Director General Chief of operations 1°Captain of vessel/aircraft 2°Captain of vessel/aircraft Commanding officer Officer after 6 years service Officer after 2 years service Officer
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 Iceland No Equivalent No Equivalent No Equivalent Ranks Petty officer/specialist after 12 years service Petty officer/specialist after 6 years servic Petty officer/specialist Enlisted after 6 years service Enlisted after 3 years service Enlisted after 1 year service Enlisted
Currently, bidding for a contract to build a new 94-meter-long vessel for the Coast Guard is underway, as a replacement for V/s Óðinn which is going to become a museum piece. The new ship is based on the design of the Norwegian Harstad class offshore patrol vessels, although old Coast Guard officers such as Höskuldur Skarphéðinsson, who was captain of V/s Baldur during the last Cod War, have called for more powerful vessels similar to the Danish Thetis class ships. Incidentally the design for a new Coast Guard vessel from 1997 was armed with an Otobreda 76 mm gun like the Danish ships, while Harstad class ships are armed with the same 40 mm Bofors gun that is already in use with the Icelandic Coast Guard. On December 1, 2006 the government approved the construction of this new ship which will be done by the Asmar shipbuilding company in Chile. The design for the ship was done by Rolls Royce in Norway and it will weight 4000 tons and thus considerably bigger than the Norwegian Harstad class, it will also be slightly faster. No information is available yet as for its armament. Although it has not been confirmed, it is believed likely that it will bear the name V/s Þór.
In an announcement on 24 March 2006, the Minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs, Björn Bjarnason affirmed that, as a result of the withdrawal of the Iceland Defense Force, more helicopters will be rented for the Coast Guard, before September 2006, and that new ones will be bought later. Both France and Russia have declared their interest in selling helicopters and other defence materials.
On 23 May 2006, in an announcement, the Ministry of justice and ecclesiastical affairs declared their decision to rent two helicopters of the same type already operated by the Coast Guard. As the supply of Aerospatiale AS-332L1 Super Puma helicopters for renting is very limited it was decided to rent a single Aerospatiale SA-365N Dauphin II along with the Super Puma, increasing the size of the Coast Guard helicopter fleet by 100%. These helicopters will be rented for one year with an option to lengthen the renting period by six to twelve months. Since this is only to be a temporary measure, plans for future composition of the helicopter fleet were released in June 2006.  The helicopers reported to be under consideration are the Eurocopter EC225, NH Industries NH90, Sikorsky S-92 and AgustaWestland EH101. Although buying the NH 90 helicopters would require the Coast Guard helicopters to be reclassified as military helicopters.
- ^ Lög um Landhelgisgæslu Íslands.
- ^ Landhelgisgæsla íslands
- ^ Landhelgisgæsluáætlun 2008 - 2010
- ^ Varnarmálastofnun Íslands
- ^ North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission
- ^ Landhelgisgæsla Íslands: Til hamingju með daginn! Þór kominn til Íslands.
- ^ Landhelgisgæsla Íslands: Nýtt varðskip Þór.
- ^ Iceland Review
- ^ BB.is
- ^ Morgunblaðið
- ^ Landhelgisgæslan
- Official Site in English
- Landhelgisgæsla Íslands in Icelandic.
- Coast Guard laws in Icelandic.
- Info on Icelandic Coast Guard
- Randburg discussion on Icelandic Coast Guard
- Ranks of the Icelandic Coast Guard
Law enforcement in IcelandNational Police · Special Forces · Coast Guard · Prison Service Coast guardsArgentina · Aruba · Australia · Bangladesh · Barbados · Belize · Canada · China · Croatia · Cyprus · Egypt · France · Germany · Greece · Haiti · Iceland · India · Ireland · Italy · Japan · South Korea · Malaysia · Maldives · New Zealand · Netherlands · Netherlands (Caribbean) · Norway · Pakistan · Peru · Philippines · Russia · Singapore · Sri Lanka · Sweden · Taiwan · Turkey · Ukraine · United Arab Emirates · United Kingdom · United States of America · Vietnam Current navies in Europe Sovereign
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
States with limited
- Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
- Northern Cyprus
- South Ossetia
Military ranks and insignia by country Africa Americas Asia
Burma · People's Republic of China (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Republic of China · India (Army · Air Force · Navy) · Indonesia · Iran (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Iraq · Israel · Japan · Jordan · Korea · Lebanon · Pakistan · Saudi Arabia · Singapore · Sri Lanka (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Thailand · Vietnam
Former: Imperial Japan (Army · Navy)
Albania · Austria · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Bulgaria · Croatia · Denmark (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Estonia · Finland · France (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Iceland (Land Forces · Coast Guard) · Ireland (Army · Naval Service · Air Corps) · Italy (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Macedonia · Monaco · Netherlands · Norway · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Russia (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Serbia · Slovenia · Spain (Army · Navy · Air Force) · Sweden · Switzerland · Turkey · Ukraine · United Kingdom (Navy · Army · Air Force) · Vatican
Former: Austria–Hungary · East Germany · Nazi Germany (Volkssturm · SA · SS) · Kingdom of Greece (Army · Navy) · Soviet Union · Yugoslavia · Serbia and Montenegro
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Coast guard — For the 2002 South Korean film, see The Coast Guard (film). U.S. Coast Guard medium endurance cutter Vigilant (WMEC 617) … Wikipedia
Icelandic Crisis Response Unit — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Íslenska Friðargæslan caption= dates=1990s–Present country=flagcountry|Iceland branch= command structure= type= role= Peacekeeping size= 100 current commander= garrison= ceremonial chief= ceremonial chief label=… … Wikipedia
Icelandic Police — Infobox Military Unit Lögreglan caption=Official Lögreglan insignia country= Iceland type= Police dates= 1778 Present specialization= Law Enforcement command structure= size= about 800 officers current commander= Haraldur Jóhannessen nickname=… … Wikipedia
Icelandic language — Icelandic íslenska Pronunciation [is(t)lɛnska] Spoken in Iceland, Denmark,[citation need … Wikipedia
Icelandic Commonwealth — Þjóðveldið Ísland Commonwealth ← … Wikipedia
Icelandic cuisine — A fisherman s hut in Reykjavík in 1835 with fish hung outside for drying. Wind dried fish remains popular in Iceland Important parts of Icelandic cuisine are lamb, dairy, and fish, due to Iceland s proximity to the ocean. Popular foods in Iceland … Wikipedia
Icelandic nationality law — is based upon the principles of Jus sanguinis. In other words, descent from an Icelandic parent is the primary method of acquiring Icelandic citizenship. Birth in Iceland to foreign parents does not in itself confer Icelandic citizenship.… … Wikipedia
Icelandic króna — ISK redirects here. For the currency of the Eve Online video game, see Gameplay of Eve Online#Economy. Icelandic króna íslensk króna (Icelandic) … Wikipedia
National Police of Iceland — Icelandic National Police Ríkislögreglan Official insignia Motto Með lögum skal land byggja … Wikipedia
Military of Iceland — Service branches Icelandic Coast Guard Iceland Air Defence System Iceland Cris … Wikipedia