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B-1B Lancers deploy to Norway for Bomber Task Force training missions

B-1B Lancers deploy to Norway for Bomber Task Force training missions
A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flies over the Arctic Circle in September. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- More than 200 Air Force personnel from Texas' Dyess Air Force Base are traveling to Norway to support upcoming Bomber Task Force missions out of Norway's Orland Air Base.

U.S. Air Force personnel will travel with an expeditionary B-1 Lancer bomber squadron and train in a variety of areas, U.S. European Command said on Tuesday.

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The training will include operations in the high north and improving interoperatbility with allies and partners from across Europe.

"Operational readiness and our ability to support Allies and partners and respond with speed is critical to combined success," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa commander, said in a press release.

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"We value the enduring partnership we have with Norway and look forward to future opportunities to bolster our collective defense," Harrigian said.

Air Force personnel were screened for COVID-19 before leaving Texas and will immediately practice a 10-day restriction of movement in keeping with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, EUCOM officials said.

EUCOM, specifically with the B-1B Lancers, has increased activity in the Nordic region in the last year.

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Last May, B-1Bs integrated with English, Swedish, Dutch and Norwegian aircraft for exercises that included the Lancer's first ever flight over Sweden.

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That mission also passed over Orland Air Station, where Norway's F-35 squadron -- some of which participated in the mission -- is stationed.

In September, two B-1B Lancers also flew directly over the North Pole to Greenland as part of a two-week training mission in conjunction with Norway's air force.

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