Danish fighter jets grounded by red tape in Kuwait
Denmark's seven F-16 fighter jets, which were approved by parliament on September 26 to take part in the ongoing conflict against the Islamic State in Iraq, have remained grounded in Kuwait since arriving there on October 5.
According to Berlingske newspaper, the jets have remained at Ahmed Al Jaber Airbase because the Kuwaiti authorities have yet to give the jets permission to use the nation's airspace.
Initially, the Air Force's excuse for the stranded planes was that material had been delayed because of the celebrations of the Muslim holy day of Eid. But now it seems that the issue is more of a diplomatic nature.
Ten days on ground
Major Jacob Barfoed – an F-16 pilot who has flown missions in Afghanistan and is a trainer at the defence academy, Forsvarsakademiet – wasn't surprised that the lacking clearance to ”use the airspace” was the reason that the Danish planes were grounded.
”It's not just for temporary permission for a single flight, but a continuous permit, and that means giving up a certain amount of sovereignty, since the planes must be able to operate with great flexibility.” Barfoed told Berlingske.
Lieutenant General Per Ludvigsen, the deputy chief of the defence, said the defence had been working hard to get the permits in order since the decision was made to use the Ahmed Al Jaber base shortly before the jets were deployed.