Tankers depart Arctic after Nordic Response 24

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Steven Adkins
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa

SOLA AIR STATION, Norway – Four U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotankers departed for their home stations at the end of exercise Nordic Response 24, March 16, 2024.   

Aerial refueling support for NR24 came from the 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, the 101st ARW, Maine ANG, and the 914th ARW, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York.  

All aerial refueling in NR-24 took place in air space over Sweden.  

Operating out of RAF Mildenhall, England, Luleå-Kallax Air Base, Sweden, and Sola Air Station, Norway, the 100th ARW flew 16 sorties, supplying 360,100 pounds of fuel to 68 receivers including Finnish F/A-18 Hornets, Norwegian F-35 Lightning IIs, Swedish JAS 39 Gripens, and U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing over the 10-day exercise. 

The 101st ARW, operating out of RAF Mildenhall, England, and Luleå-Kallax AB, Sweden, flew 36 hours during six sorties, delivering 160,000 pounds of fuel to 30 Norwegian F-35 Lightning II receivers.  

The 168th Wing, operating out of Sola Air Station, Norway, flew five sorties supplying aerial refueling to 19 U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets and F-35B Lightning IIs from the 2nd MAW, giving a total of 132,700 pounds of fuel.  

Flying out of Luleå-Kallax Air Base, Sweden, the 914th ARW delivered aerial refueling to two Norwegian F-35 Lightning IIs and two U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets from the 2nd MAW.  

In addition to providing aerial refueling the 100th ARW exercised their ability to implement reactive agile combat employment by diverting aircraft to Sola Air Station in Stavanger, Norway, to sustain flying operations for NR-24. The location shift highlighted the ability of U.S. forces to land at an Ally’s base then rapidly setup and begin flying operations alongside their ANG counterparts. 

Overall U.S. participation in NR-24 was led by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa in coordination with NATO and U.S. European Command components. The exercise was used as an opportunity to integrate alongside Finland and Sweden, the newest members of the NATO Alliance.  

Along with the tanker aircraft, Airmen assigned to the 57th Rescue Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy, participated by teaming up with Swedish air force rangers in northern Norway to provide personnel recovery capabilities, and practice operational insertions and air support operations in Swedish, and British helicopter assets.  

The 1st Combat Communications Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany, and the 265th CBCS Maine ANG, also participated by providing communications support during the exercise.  

NR-24 provided vital opportunities for U.S. active-duty personnel, reservists, and ANG members to integrate and train alongside NATO Allies and other partner militaries to ensure interoperability.  

Imagery of U.S. forces participating in Nordic Response 24 is publicly available through the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/NordicResponse24.    

For more information, please contact the U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa Public Affairs Office via email at usafepao.pao@us.af.mil or after hours at usafepa.pastaffdutyofficer@us.af.mil

- 30 -