U.S. Air Force KC-135s arrive in the High North for Nordic Response

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  • U.S. Air Forces Europe Air Forces Africa

U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotankers arrived in Norway and Sweden Saturday to participate in Exercise Nordic Response 24 from March 5-15, 2024. 

The tankers will provide aerial refueling support to U.S., Ally, and partner nation aircraft participating in the Norwegian-sponsored exercise designed to test military capabilities and operations in the challenging arctic climate and terrain. 

In addition to the U.S. tankers participating from locations in Norway and Sweden, a KC-135 from the 100th ARW, RAF Mildenhall, England, and a KC-135 from the 101st ARW, Maine ANG, will fly out of RAF Mildenhall to provide aerial refueling during NR24.

Overall U.S. participation in Nordic Response 24 is led by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa in coordination with NATO and U.S. European Command components. The exercise will also be used as an opportunity to integrate alongside Finland, the newest member of the NATO Alliance, and Sweden which is expected to be welcomed into the Alliance in the coming weeks. 

Along with the tanker aircraft, Airmen assigned to the 57th Rescue Squadron, based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, are participating in the event by providing personnel recovery capabilities alongside Norwegian, Swedish, and United Kingdom helicopter assets.  

The 1st Combat Communications Squadron, based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and the 265th CBCS from the Maine Air National Guard are also participating by providing communications support to the exercise. 

Exercises like Nordic Response provide 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. 

Additionally, Nordic Response 24 is part of a larger umbrella of events in support of Steadfast Defender 2024, NATO’s largest exercise in decades. Together, NATO forces are more effective at upholding the Alliance’s common values and preserving peace.  

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

For more information, please contact 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.