U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published March 22, 2021
A B-2 Spirit, assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, hot-pit refuels at Lajes Field, Azores, March 19, 2021. The bomber supported a Bomber Task Force mission during which it integrated Norwegian F-35s in the High North. U.S. Global Strike Command Airmen and assets routinely operate across the globe and are flexible to respond to changes in the operational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Salazar)
A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron crew chief prepares to marshal a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 16, 2021. During the Bomber Task Force Europe deployment, the 9th EBS integrated and trained with six ally and partner nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and a U.S. B-1B Lancer from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, flew a Bomber Task Force mission off the coast of Iceland, March 19, 2021.
The bombers integrated with four Norwegian F-35 Lightning aircraft that are currently fulfilling NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. The aircraft carried out complex operations at night after beginning the mission from three different bases on two continents. The sortie provided an opportunity for the aircraft to advance their cross-platform data-sharing capabilities, improving 5th generation interoperability.
Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness of the U.S. Air Force, which is necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.
“Executing this mission is no small feat,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and NATO Allied Air Command. “Integrating fourth and fifth generation aircraft alongside our Norwegian allies is a critical strategic capability for the future success of NATO operations.”
Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective defense of the NATO alliance and are a visible demonstration of the U.S. capability of extended deterrence.
Continuing coverage of this deployment will be available on this website, and on the DVIDS hub at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope.