An Icelandic military honor guard prepares for a handover ceremony with U.S. officials at Keflavik Naval Air Station near Reykjavik September 30, 2006.
Bob Strong / Reuters

As tensions mount between Russia and NATO, the alliance has had to refocus from external support missions to border security. For over five decades, Iceland’s sprawling Keflavik air station served as a front line for the West during its struggle with the Soviet Union. The station is the size of a small town, and it once housed thousands of U.S. servicemen who were tasked with tracking Soviet submarines and aircraft as they crossed into the Atlantic Ocean. Yet as the Cold War waned, so did Keflavik’s importance: The base was unceremoniously closed in 2006 and parceled up by domestic entities—some of it became student housing, other portions were transferred to the international airport, and what remained was to be maintained by the Icelandic Coast Guard.

But buried within the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is a $19 million request to renovate Keflavik’s facilities to make them suitable for a

To read the full article