Two B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing in Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, conducted a long-range strategic bomber task force mission to the Nordic region on 20 May 2020. The bombers visited Norwegian airspace, where they integrated and trained with four Norwegian F-35s. For Norway, the U.S. mission provided an important training opportunity. The B-1B Lancer is a strategic heavy bomber that makes up the US fleet of long-range bombers along with the B-52 Stratofortress and the B-2 Spirit.
“Today, we have carried out complex air operations with advanced systems – both on the ground and in the air,” says Lieutenant Colonel Ståle Nymoen, commander of the Norwegian 332 Squadron. “This is an important training arena for integrated training. This allows us to operate together and exchange information with other allies”, says Nymoen.
In addition to complex air operations, Norway’s chain of control and reporting was an important part of the exercise. From the ground, the control and reporting chain continuously monitors Norwegian airspace and communicate with the fighter aircraft in the air. The squadron commander says Norway benefits from planning and operating with advanced capabilities from other allied nations.
Through NATO, Norwegian forces continuously train with other allied nations – including the United States. Earlier this year, US B-52s exercised with the Norwegian Armed Forces in northern Norway. I 2019, American and Norwegian F-35s trained together in Norway, and several US F-22 Raptors visited Norway in 2018. Several other allied and partner nations also trained together with the US B-1s.