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U.S. B-2 Spirit bombers, Norwegian F-35s integrate over North Sea

By
Jake Thomas
Staff Sgt. Ian Simms prepares a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber for departure from Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, on Wednesday, ahead of stealth bombers integrating with Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft to enhance bomber interoperability with partners and allied nations. Photo by Airman 1st Class Victoria Hommel/U.S. Air Force
Staff Sgt. Ian Simms prepares a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber for departure from Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, on Wednesday, ahead of stealth bombers integrating with Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft to enhance bomber interoperability with partners and allied nations. Photo by Airman 1st Class Victoria Hommel/U.S. Air Force

Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bombers have completed a training mission with Norway over the North Sea to improve 5th generation aircraft data-sharing capabilities, the branch said on Thursday.

Part of the Bomber Task Force, the mission concluded on Thursday and included B-2 Spirit bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. that are currently based out of Keflavik Air Base in Iceland, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.

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The mission was designed to integrate Norwegian F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to test escort procedures, stand-off weapon employment and suppression of air defenses.

"The mission demonstrates the value of our continued presence and relationships," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, said in a press release.

"What our collective Airmen accomplish on these missions is vital to our alliance and maintaining agility as we move into the future," Harrigian said.

In March, the two countries concluded a similar exercise near the Arctic Circle that involved a U.S. B-2 bomber, also from the Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and four F-35s from the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

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