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 Jun 9 2020

U.S. Strategic Bombers train alongside NATO Fighter Aircraft in the Arctic

MONS, Belgium – In an effort to maintain a secure and stable region, where nations work together to address security challenges, four U.S.- NATO B-52H bomber aircraft conducted a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission, training alongside Norwegian NATO F-16s and F-35s over the Arctic Ocean and Laptev Sea, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
The integration of our bombers across Europe and the Arctic is key to enhancing regional security
NATO Allies and Partners bordering on the Arctic region are working in co-operation with air activities, considered to be normal routine training, to help mitigate and reduce security risks associated with increased human activity in the Arctic.

“The Arctic is a strategic region with growing geopolitical and global importance, and these Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate our commitment to our partners and allies and our capability to deter, assure, and defend together in an increasingly complex environment,” said General Jeffrey L. Harrigian, Commander of Allied Air Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Commander. “The integration of our bombers across Europe and the Arctic is key to enhancing regional security,” he added.

The U.S. bombers, from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, were supported by KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refuelling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, and the 168th Air Refuelling Wing, Eielson Air force Base, Alaska. The combination of NATO Allies enabled the B-52s to complete the round trip from Minot Air Force Base.


Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, breaks away from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, after receiving fuel during a strategic bomber mission off the northern Norwegian coast, June 3, 2020. The Arctic is a strategic region with growing geopolitical and global importance, bomber missions demonstrate the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)
Norwegian F-16s and F-35s train with a B-52H Stratofortress during a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Mission throughout Europe and the Arctic region June 3, 2020. The Arctic is a strategic region with growing geopolitical and global importance, the U.S. Department of Defense is working with our Arctic nations and multinational and interagency public and private partners to maintain a secure and stable region where nations work cooperatively to address challenges.  Courtesy photo by Norwegian Air Force 
1st Lt. John Penkunis, 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilot, prepares a KC-135 Stratotanker for a flight supporting a strategic bomber mission at RAF Mildenhall, England, June 3, 2020. Strategic bomber missions enable crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency, and validate our always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)

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