Four B-52s flew directly from North Dakota to the Arctic, integrating with Norwegian F-35s and F-16s for a long-duration strategic bomber task force mission on June 3.
The mission is the latest in a series of bomber flights to Europe, which have recently featured the non-nuclear-capable B-1. In this flight, the four nuclear-capable B-52s flew from Minot Air Force Base and refueled from KC-135s assigned to both the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and the 168th Air Refueling Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe release.
The bombers linked up with the Norwegian aircraft for training over the Arctic Ocean and the Laptev Sea.
“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,” USAFE boss Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian said in the release. “The integration of our bombers across Europe and the Arctic is key to enhancing regional security.”
B-52s most recently flew a task force mission to Europe on May 7 as part of a U.S. Strategic Command exercise.