HomeNewsArticle Display

B-1B Lancers cross Arctic Circle to train with Nordic allies

A photo of a  B-1B Lancer assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flying over the Arctice Circle, Sept. 25, 2020

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flies over the Arctic Circle, Sept. 25, 2020. Two bombers assigned to the unit completed flights that passed directly over the North Pole enroute to perform interoperability training with the Norwegian air force. (U.S. Air Force aircrew photo)

Two Norwegian air force F-16V Fighting Falcons accompany a B-1B Lancers assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron during a training sortie over the Norwegian Sea, Sept. 25, 2020.

Two Norwegian air force F-16V Fighting Falcons accompany a B-1B Lancers assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron during a training sortie over the Norwegian Sea, Sept. 25, 2020. The B-1’s took off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska before crossing the Arctic Circle to conduct the training. Training with NATO partners and allies increases interoperability and helps strengthen ties with those countries. (U.S. Air Force air crew photo)

Photo of pilot looking out of the cockpit of a B-1 Lancer.

Maj. Charles Kilchrist, 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot, performs pre-flight checks on a B-1B Lancer prior to a sortie at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Sept. 24, 2020. The sortie, part of a Bomber Task Force mission in support of U.S. European command initiatives, included going across the Arctic Circle to train with the Norwegian air force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of a B-1 Lancer taking off

A B-1B Lancer departs Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska on the it way to the Arctic Circle, Sept. 24, 2020. The sortie, part of a Bomber Task Force mission supporting U.S. European Command initiatives, was designed to give aircrews familiarity with operating in the Arctic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) --

B-1B Lancers assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron conducted training with the Norwegian air force on Sept. 25, in a 16-hour sortie that crossed directly over the North Pole as part of a Bomber Task Force mission here.  

The 6,100 nautical mile mission received air refueling support over the Arctic Ocean before spending several hours training with the Norwegian forces off the coast of Greenland and over the Norwegian Sea. It highlighted the U.S. Air Force’s capacity to conduct complex operations in multiple areas of responsibility with NATO allies and partners.

Col. Christopher Hawn, 345th EBS commander, said the ability to operate in the Arctic region is important in supporting
U.S. European Command (EUCOM) initiatives and in fulfilling the objectives of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which reoriented the U.S. military’s focus from the Middle East to near-peer concerns in Asia and Europe.

“It is about access,” he explained. “In a near-peer conflict, the closest point of access could require us to go through the Arctic, so we need to ensure we are well versed in that operational environment.”

Operating out of Eielson Air Force Base proved to be an invaluable training opportunity for the unit, whose home station is Dyess AFB, Texas.

“The fact that we can conduct operations at a moment’s notice from Alaska to anywhere within the EUCOM area of responsibility sends a strong message,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Marshall, 345th EBS director of operations.

Training in the Arctic has grown increasingly important, as the region holds strategic value for U.S. Air and Space Forces as well as its allies and partners. It is also vital to homeland security, as it provides avenues of approach to the U.S. from space, air, sea, and land.

“The harsh conditions and limited access throughout the region make it easy to overlook the value of the Arctic,” Marshall said. “However, the increase in global competition for access and control of the region solidifies the Arctic’s status as a key territory.”

The training also holds tactical importance for aircrews, as it helped them gain familiarity with different operational theaters and unique training environments. Hawn, who has been a B-1 Lancer pilot since 2000, said he did not recall being part of an Arctic mission in the platform prior to these sorties. 


“Our corporate knowledge of Arctic operations in the B-1 is not as robust as it is for other regions of the world, and we fully intend to share our insights with the rest of the B-1 enterprise upon our return,” he said. “The knowledge and experience we have gained can and will be leveraged for immediate and lasting effect in this community.”

The 345th EBS has conducted 16 sorties in seven flying days since arriving for the BTF on Sept. 10. The unit, which is comprised of
Reserve Airmen from the 307th Bomb Wing and active-duty Airmen from the 7th Bomb Wing, has had a 100 percent launch and mission effective rate since arriving in theater, a testament to the Total Force Integration package the unit utilizes at Dyess AFB, in which both parties work together daily.

Continuing coverage of this deployment will be available on the USEUCOM website at https://www.eucom.mil and on the 307th Bomb Wing official website at https://www.307bw.afrc.af.mil.

Engage

Twitter
Supporting international partnerships and deterring adversaries. #AimHigh https://t.co/ktC0QF19sa
Twitter
A1C Olivia Vargas performs maintenance on a B-1B Lancer at Andersen Air Force Base in support of a Bomber Task Forc… https://t.co/FQo2egYXuN
Twitter
Equality for all. Today we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and what he stood for. King dreamed of a… https://t.co/SrZbBhwSt4
Twitter
Go Falcons! The @AF_Falcons played against the Boise State University Broncos during a home game at Clune Arena, i… https://t.co/TYFkhh367H
Twitter
Airmen at @RamsteinAirBase proudly show their reasons for receiving the #COVID19 vaccine. #WhyIVax 📸 by SrA Jenni… https://t.co/D8xD5VZEWw
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/vGbMwtkjNY
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: This achievement is an important milestone toward the @AFResearchLab objective of developing & adapting quantum technologies f…
Twitter
Remembering Operation Desert Storm Desert Storm was the first conflict in history to make comprehensive use of ste… https://t.co/Roncc8toL7
Twitter
Today marks 30 years since the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. Read @MitchellStudies' report on "Lessons Lea… https://t.co/6aWVGXjzNl
Twitter
“As an #AirForce, we need to create the best leaders so that our Airmen realize they can reach their full potential… https://t.co/Rk4LtjIzHl
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Recruiting, training & educating #Airmen requires force generators dedicated to their craft & to laying the foundation of o…
Twitter
AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo finalist The AFIMSC leadership team and Ventures Innovation Office picked 8 finalists to c… https://t.co/f78UDv6fYY
Twitter
RT @AirForceGaming: // TESTING COMPLETE // LOADING SEASON 001 Registration for Air Force Gaming League is now open! We're going gl…
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Airmen across the command, including our Global Strike leadership, are taking the next step in the battle against COVID…
Twitter
One team one fight @366FW's Capt. Aaron Tindall is the 1st Airman to graduate from the @USNavy Airborne Electronic… https://t.co/mvfn30OnLP
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/LtDGcVwsKi
Twitter
Honoring a pioneer. Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager live, noon EST. Live c… https://t.co/0aFqKjSWyO
Twitter
RT @CalGuard: Airmen from the Cal Guard's 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno are stepping up to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. #TheVirusStops
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,314,468
Follow Us