B-1s integrate with allies and partners; fly over Sweden for first-time

By U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa | May 20, 2020

Two B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, conducted a long-range strategic Bomber Task Force mission to the Nordic region May 20, 2020.

The mission marked the first time B-1s have flown over Sweden to integrate with Swedish Gripens while conducting close-air support training with Swedish Joint Terminal Attack Controller ground teams at Vidsel Range.

“Long-range bomber training missions strengthen our steadfast partnerships with allies across both Europe and Africa and showcase our ability to respond globally from anywhere,” said U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, Gen. Jeff Harrigian. “This mission further enhances our interoperability capabilities by taking groundbreaking steps to incorporate our partners to generate seamless operations.”

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, and a Dutch KDC-10 from the 334th Squadron, RNLAF Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands, enabled the B-1 to complete the round trip from Ellsworth Air Force Base without stopping, while also providing aerial refueling support to our partner-nation aircraft.

During the flight, the B-1s were escorted by Royal Air Force Typhoons over the United Kingdom.

Additionally, the B-1s integrated with Norwegian F-35s to fly tactical sorties and conduct a low-approach over ├śrland Air Station, Norway. ├śrland Air Station is the home of the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s recently operational F-35 fleet.

Given the inherent speed, flexibility, and range of strategic bombers, Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate U.S. capabilities and commitments to our allies, partners, and any potential adversary.

Operations and engagements with our allies and partners demonstrate and strengthen our shared commitment to global security and stability.

Continuing coverage of this deployment will be available on this website, and on the DVIDS hub at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope.