A B-1B bomber involved in a failed ejection-seat incident has been retired to take on a new mission

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber
B-1B Lancer “Spectre” is towed into the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group’s Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight training facility at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, April 10, 2021.

  • The B-1B bomber “Spectre” retired to become an advanced maintenance trainer at Tinker Air Force Base.
  • The bomber was involved in a May 2018 incident in which a fire led to an ejection seat misfire, after which the crew had to make an emergency landing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The US Air Force disclosed a few days ago that, in early April, the B-1B Lancer 86-109/DY, nicknamed “Spectre,” has been retired at Tinker Air Force Base to become an advanced maintenance trainer.

The aircraft was towed to an Aircraft Battle Damage Repair training pad at the 76th Maintenance Group’s Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight on the south side of the base, where it joined a B-52 Stratofortress and a C-135 Stratolifter.

The same “Bone” (as the B-1 is nicknamed in the pilot community) was involved in a May 2018 in-flight emergency while it was returning to Dyess Air Force Base (Texas) after a routine training sortie.

Multiple fire warnings lighted in the cockpit as the engine number three caught fire and reportedly spread to another engine. All but one fire were extinguished and, following the emergency checklist’s procedures, the crew initiated the ejection sequence.

However, when the Offensive Systems Operator’s ejection seat failed to leave the plane successfully, the aircraft commander ordered the crew to immediately stop the escape procedure and diverted to Midland International Air and Space Port near Odessa, Texas, still on fire with a missing hatch, no cockpit pressurization and an armed ejection seat that could fire at any moment, performing a successful emergency landing without injury or further damage to the aircraft. The four crew members have been later awarded the Air Force’s Distinguished Flying Cross.

At the end of October 2018, the damaged B-1B was flown to Tinker AFB by an Air Force Reserve crew from the 10th Flight Test Squadron. The crew had to fly the “Bone” on just three engines without raising the landing gear and without sweeping the wings for the entirety of the flight.

At that time, the press release said that “Spectre” was to “undergo depot maintenance and upgrades at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, be quality tested by the 10th FLTS, and be returned to the Dyess AFB B-1B Lancer fleet upon completion.”

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber
B-1B Lancer 86-109, known as “Spectre,” is towed down Patrol Road at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 10, 2021.

It seems however that there was a change of plans, as the aircraft was included in the 17 B-1Bs with the least amount of usable life that have been marked for early retirement to allow the Air Force to prioritize the health of the fleet.

These bombers had experienced significant structural fatigue, with cracks appearing in highly stressed structural components joining the wings to the fuselage, which would have required each $10 to $30 million for the repairs.

“The artisans of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex repaired the damaged nacelle, replaced the ejection system, and performed both the Integrated Battle Station modification and a full Programmed Depot Maintenance overhaul,” said Col. Greg Lowe, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group commander. “Despite all of the work, the aircraft was selected for retirement, but it will be a welcome addition to the ABDR [Aircraft Battle Damage Repair] program.”

So, after 12,136 flying hours and almost three years after that in-flight emergency, “Spectre” left the flight line for the last time following its divestiture which saw the removal of its engines, certain avionics and other equipment not essential for its new mission.

According to the press release, for the aircraft to safely leave the flight line and travel to its new home, two temporary gravel ramps were constructed. A number of road signs, poles and a power line had to be temporarily removed to give the aircraft an unobstructed path.

The bomber’s wings were kept in their swept position to keep the aircraft’s footprint as narrow as possible, with two counterweights, each weighing 2,640 pounds, suspended from the forward section of the aircraft to preserve the balance as it was towed.

Following the 20 minute-long, half-mile trip, the wings “were manually brought forward one at a time using only a cordless drill, which took about 5 minutes per wing,” instead of the usual 10 seconds when done in flight.

Even if now retired, “Spectre” will still perform, within the Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight, an important mission that will be advantage of the entire B-1B fleet.

“This aircraft will be important to train for advanced repair techniques and as an engineering test aid for form, fit, and function of future modifications and structural repairs,” said Col. Lowe.

As mentioned in the press release, the Expeditionary Depot Maintenance flight is responsible for maintaining the Air Force’s sole source for ABDR rapid repair capabilities for the entire tanker and bomber fleets, which are tested and trained on its B-52 and C-135 maintenance trainers and, from now on, also on the B-1.

Read the original article on Business Insider

With ‘historic’ bomber flights on opposite sides of the planet, the US Air Force is sending a message to friends and foes

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway
A B-1B bomber at Ørland airport to train with Norwegian forces, March 13, 2021.

  • US Air Force bombers landed in Norway and India in February for history-making deployments.
  • Those operations reflect the increasing frequency and reach of the Air Force’s bomber operations.
  • Some observers are skeptical that the message the Air Force is trying to send is being received.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

February was a historic month for US Air Force bombers, with two first-of-their-kind operations on opposite sides of the globe.

On February 3, a B-1 bomber and 40 airmen deployed to the Aero India trade show in southern India. A US bomber was last in India in 1945, when it was still under British rule, making this a first for of the Republic of India.

The event included the first US bomber flyover with an Indian fighter jet – “a very significant moment” in US-India military ties, Lt. Col. Michael Fessler, lead US demonstration pilot at Aero India, said in a release.

Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, head of US Pacific Air Forces, echoed that sentiment later in February, telling Insider it was “very exciting to see.”

The “value” of being on the ground is the “collaboration and just the ability to talk in person with those that have mutual interests,” Wilsbach said during a press conference at the Air Force Association air-warfare symposium.

Air Force B-1B bomber India
A B-1B taxis at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, India, February 3, 2021.

US-India ties tightened in recent months, spurred on by rising tensions with China. India only recently disengaged from a standoff with China – the deadliest in decades – on their disputed border in the western Himalayas.

The US increased its support for India during that months-long confrontation by delivering cold-weather gear and through “intelligence-sharing,” Wilsbach said in November.

“The ability to partner up with India to the max extent that we can is really important to us,” Wilsbach told Insider in February.

Wilsbach visited Indian Air Force leaders in early March to discuss “ways to further strengthen” bilateral ties.

On February 22, four B-1s landed in Norway for the first US bomber deployment to that country. Since then, they’ve operated around the region, including first-ever landings in Poland and in the Norwegian Arctic.

Their activities “have really been a great demonstration of partnership with our Norwegians friends and an ability to work through the interoperability that is so important,” Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, told Insider at another AFA press conference.

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway
A B-1B in dense snow drifts at Ørland airport in Norway, March 7, 2021.

Tensions between NATO and Russia have been elevated since Moscow’s 2014 seizure of Crimea. Norway shares a border with Russia and has in the past been cautious about NATO exercises near that boundary.

Heightened tensions have led to more military activity in the European Arctic, however, and Norway has worked closely with its NATO allies as they have increased operations there.

“The Arctic is a very important area for the cooperation between the United States and Norway,” Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norway’s minister of defense, said at a recent think-tank event.

“This deployment represents a unique opportunity for cooperation and joint training with” Norwegian forces, Bakke-Jensen added. “At the same time, the scope of Allied activities must be measured to avoid unnecessary escalation and misunderstandings.”

‘Part of the competitive space’

Air Force B-1B bomber India
US airmen perform post-flight maintenance on a B-1B after a flyover at Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru, February 3, 2021.

US bombers have kept a high pace of operations around the world, including the Middle East. In early March, B-52s flew “a multinational patrol mission” across that region, the fourth this year.

“A great deal of what we’re doing now with our bomber task forces is part of the competitive space,” Gen. Timothy Ray, who oversees bomber operations as head of Air Force Global Strike Command, told Insider at a separate AFA press conference.

“So my ability to quickly get to places around the globe and to show presence and support for partners and allies to augment the forces that are forward, I think, is a very powerful thing,” Ray added.

Like the rest of the US military, the bomber force has embraced dynamic force employment, aiming to be “strategically predictable but operationally unpredictable.” Ray also said his command has “completed work” on “bomber agile combat employment,” another concept focused on more dispersed operations.

As a result, US bombers have been doing more round-trip flights from the US, which “have a bit of an unpredictability that gives us some opportunities,” and more short-term overseas deployments known as bomber task forces, which “give us a different set of opportunities,” Ray said.

“We’ve put a lot of focus on the Pacific and on Europe,” Ray added.

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway
US airmen greet US and Norwegian officials at Ørland Air Force Station in Norway, March 9, 2021.

“Norway and India have been strategically quite significant,” Ray said. “Now we’re kind of just hitting our stride, and I think expanding beyond the normal” locations – such as the UK, Diego Garcia, or Guam – “has really been effective.”

“A lot more options are on the table,” Ray added. “We’re going to continue work them.”

US officials are careful with how they describe those operations, saying they’re meant as messages to friends and foes but not as threats, but observers question whether that messaging will have the desired impact.

In the Middle East, Iran is used to US military displays, and former officials have argued they aren’t worth the strain they put on the aircraft.

The Biden administration is still working on a broader strategy for Asia, and the fact that bomber flights there have continued apace suggests “bureaucratic inertia” and comes with a “risk of misperception,” Van Jackson, a senior lecturer in international relations at New Zealand’s Victoria University, told Insider in February.

Russia is getting the message, “but there is so far no indication that it is causing them to back down,” Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told Insider.

Bomber flights, particularly in sensitive areas of the Arctic, “probably” reinforce Moscow’s “perception that NATO is a threat, and a growing one, that requires Russia to counter-posture and continue to modernize their capabilities,” Kristensen said. “As such, this resembles the action-reaction dynamic we remember from the Cold War.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

SEALs, Marines, and Norwegian soldiers teamed up with B-1B bombers to practice dropping bombs on new terrain

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway
A US Air Force B-1B takes off from Bodø Air Station in Norway, March 8, 2021.

  • US Air Force bombers deployed to Norway for the first time ever in late February.
  • This week, those bombers trained with troops on the ground to conduct close air support.
  • The deployment, and increased Arctic activity in general, comes amid high tensions between NATO and Russia.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers that deployed to Norway in late February have already demonstrated their reach in the air around Europe, and this week they tested their ability to put bombs on target in new surroundings.

On March 8, a bomber conducted Joint Terminal Attack Controller training with US Navy SEALs, US Marines, and Norwegian soldiers near Setermoen in the Norwegian Arctic.

JTACs, as they’re known, direct aircraft during close-air-support missions. For this training, US and Norwegian JTACs took position “on top of a mountain and quickly established communications” with the bomber to call in targets, a Marine Corps release said.

The exercise comes as NATO militaries have increased their focus on the European Arctic, conducting more ground, air, and naval operations there.

Joint JTAC training “demonstrates our commitment to building interoperability across military services and NATO allies,” Capt. Joe Roberts, a JTAC instructor, said in the release.

‘A little bit different’

Marines Norway JTAC Arctic
Norwegian soldiers and US Marines during Joint Terminal Attack Controller training in Setermoen, Norway, March 8, 2021.

US bombers deploy to Europe and train with Norwegian aircraft regularly, but the four B-1Bs that arrived in Norway on February 22 are the first US bombers to deploy there.

“There’s always something that’s just a little bit different” at a new airfield, Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, said during a March 5 briefing.

Changing scenery is particularly important for close air support, as working with JTACs or special-operations forces on the ground “allows that sensor on the ground to connect with the shooter, and in this case the bombers, to be able to practice dropping weapons in different environments,” Basham said.

“I can tell you, as a B-1 pilot, that not all terrain looks the same; it has a different look on radar,” Basham added. “Working with different individuals, there are always the unique challenges of accent or just the ability to make sure that we understand exactly what we’re doing.”

Marines rotated through Norway for on-the-ground training – including familiarization with the language barrier – from 2017 to late 2020, when the Corps said that training would move to an “episodic” model.

Marines Norway Arctic
US Marines and Norwegian soldiers during JTAC training in Setermoen, March 8, 2021.

The Marines’ training focused on preparing for harsh Arctic conditions, which is also a goal of the B-1B deployment and of the JTAC training.

“Operating from Norway gives a very unique opportunity to operate in a cold-weather environment,” Basham said.

During the JTAC exercise, the B-1B landed at Bodo Air Force Station in the Norwegian Arctic for “warm-pit refueling,” in which the crew stays in the cockpit during refueling, allowing the bomber to get back in the air faster.

Operations like warm-pit refueling are central to the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment concept, which is meant to prepare aircraft and crews for more dispersed operations.

The bomber “does just fine in the cold weather,” Basham said. “It’s our great aviators and maintainers and support personnel who might not be as familiar with the rigors of the cold. Our Norwegian partners are helping us along in that.”

The bomber circled the airfield for 45 minutes as “dense snow” was cleared so it could land, and for ground troops, Norway’s Arctic “also poses many obstacles,” including frostbite and mountainous terrain, “which can cause electronic communications issues,” the Corps release said.

Sending a message

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway Arctic
A B-1B bomber lands at Bodø Air Station for the first time, March 8, 2021.

US and NATO activity in the Arctic comes amid heightened tensions with Russia, which has the world’s longest Arctic coastline and extensive economic interests there. Moscow has also increased its military activity in the Arctic.

The Norway deployment reflects several shifts in US strategy, including increased support for NATO in response to Russia’s 2014 incursion in Ukraine, which has led to “a gradual increase of bombers deploying to the UK at higher tempo and flying farther east and north,” Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told Insider.

Another shift is in Air Force bomber operations overseas, moving away from longer deployments in one place and toward shorter, more frequent deployments at more bases, which in Europe “has resulted in bomber operations to Iceland and now Norway, locations where the US did not deploy bombers even during the Cold War,” Kristensen said.

Russia has major military installations in the Arctic, where aerial attack has long been a major concern.

Air Force B-1B bomber Norway Arctic
A B-1B bomber is refueled at Bodø Air Station, March 8, 2021.

Moscow has already demonstrated its dismay about the B-1B deployment. On Friday, its Northern Fleet said carrier-based MiG-29K fighter jets had for the first time gone on “experimental combat duty” on the nearby Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

The Russians “seem to get the message” behind the increased US bomber deployments, Kristensen told Insider, “but there is so far no indication that it is causing them to back down.”

“It’s a lot more controversial in Norway, where officials have been busy explaining that the operations should not be seen as an increased threat to Russia,” Kristensen added.

Lt. Gen. Yngve Odlo, chief of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, stressed that point during the March 5 briefing.

“The communication is quite clear that this is what it is and it’s not an offensive operation at all,” Odlo said. “It’s normal military activity between two close allies. The only special thing is the new asset being deployed to Norway.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

US Air Force bombers are on an ‘historic’ mission to Norway to let allies know they’ll be ‘on target, first time’

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber Dyess
A B-1B prepares to take off from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, February 21, 2021.

  • US B-1B bombers arrived in Norway on February 22 for the first bomber deployment ever to that country.
  • NATO officials said the deployment shouldn’t be seen as a threat, but the bombers’ capabilities should be clear.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Four US Air Force B-1B bombers arrived at Ørland Air Station in central Norway on February 22 for what officials say is a “historic” deployment meant to familiarize US airmen with new terrain.

While US bombers regularly train with Norwegian aircraft, they usually fly out of another major base in the region.

“This is the first time that we are generating flights in partnership with our close ally, Norway, as well as operating from Norwegian soil,” Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, told reporters Friday.

“There’s always something that’s just a little bit different” at a new airfield, Basham said.

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber Norway
US airmen unload a B-1B at Ørland Air Force Station in Norway, February 22, 2021.

“Under our newest concept of Agile Combat Employment, we have got to maintain the level of agility and flexibility to operate from many different places,” Basham added, referring to an operational concept in which aircraft and airmen train to deploy from main “hub” bases to a variety of “spoke” airfields.

Operating from Norway is also a chance to acclimate to a colder environment – a concern more for airmen than aircraft, Basham said – and to train more with their Norwegian counterparts.

The location allows “integrating probably a little bit more often than we might from other locations with their fighters [and] their navy,” Basham added. “Being on the ground with them before we operate and after we operate also creates a unique opportunity to learn.”

Lt. Gen. Yngve Odlo, chief of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, which oversees the country’s military operations, said the deployment is “an important part” of ensuring the US and Norway can work together in that region and its conditions.

US bombers are “a strategic asset, and it is highly important to both of us … to be able to have the right processes” to use them, “if needed,” Odlo said.

On target

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber Norway
Two crew chiefs by a B-1B at Ørland Air Force Station, February 26, 2021.

The B-1Bs in Norway flew their first Bomber Task Force mission on February 26, conducting “tactical integration” with a Norwegian F-35 and naval assets over the Norwegian Sea. (An initial press release said they trained in the eastern Barents Sea, much closer to Russia, but a spokesperson told Insider that was “a brief miscommunication.”)

In early March, two B-1Bs trained with Danish, Polish, Italian, and German fighters over the Baltic Sea and flew over the capitals of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – “a testament to the unmatched strength and capability of the NATO alliance,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa.

The US bomber crews’ training will also include working with joint terminal air controllers and special-operations forces to drop inert munitions, which “allows that sensor on the ground to connect with the shooter, and in this case the bombers, to be able to practice dropping weapons in different environments,” Basham said.

“I can tell you, as a B-1 pilot, that not all terrain looks the same,” Basham added. “It has a different look on radar, and working with different individuals, there are always the unique challenges of accent or just the ability to make sure that we understand exactly what we’re doing.”

The deployment has several weeks left, and the training doing is important not only for US airmen but also as a signal to allies, Basham said.

“The one thing you’re always thinking about if you’re ever required to employ in a location such as this … you typically don’t get a first chance to practice and then a second chance to succeed,” Basham said. “That’s why it’s so important to exercise every aspect of, in this particular case, what our B-1s can do, and certainly not just with Norway but many other countries so that if ever called upon, our allies are assured that we will be on target, first time.”

‘Some reverberations’

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber Norway
An Air Force public-affairs specialist documents a B-1B landing at Ørland Air Force Station, March 3, 2021.

Broader tensions between NATO and Russia, heightened after Moscow’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, loom over the bomber deployment.

Norway is NATO’s northernmost European member, and its border with Russia is adjacent to sensitive Russian military installations in the Arctic, where both NATO and Russia are more active. Norway also looks over important sea lanes through which Russian warships must pass to reach the Atlantic Ocean.

Norway takes its neighbor’s concerns about military activity into account, but Moscow still watches NATO operations in the region, especially bomber flights, warily.

Two weeks before the bombers arrived, Russia released footage of Russian Tu-160 bombers on “a planned flight” over the Barents, Greenland, and Norwegian seas. Days later, Russia said it would conduct missile tests in waters between the Barents and Norwegian seas, which was seen as a sign of displeasure over the bombers’ impending arrival.

On Friday, Odlo and Basham stressed that the deployment was normal military activity.

There are always “some reverberations from the political side of the house,” when Norway invites “close allies” to operate there, “which is normal,” Odlo said.

“There is no doubt that Russia probably looks at this as just what they would do,” Basham said. “As you’re looking to continue to improve your readiness, you want to make sure that you’re pushing to the limits of your capability.”

Basham reiterated that the deployment shouldn’t be seen as a threat but said it was a reflection of US capabilities.

“If someone were to take a message that you’re not restricted to one particular location, that would be a good message for them to perceive,” Basham said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Air Force just sent the first B-1B bomber to the ‘boneyard’

B-1B Lancer
A B-1B takes off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, October 11, 2017.

  • The Air Force has taken the first step in its plan to divest 17 B-1B bombers in the coming months, sending the first Lancer to the “boneyard.”
  • The divestments will reduce the active B-1 fleet to 45 aircraft, and the service plans to retire all of them by 2036.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The first B-1B Lancer bomber has headed to the Boneyard, Air Force Global Strike Command announced Wednesday.

It’s the first step in the Air Force’s plan to divest 17 of the bombers in coming months, reducing the active B-1 fleet to 45 aircraft.

“Beginning to retire legacy bombers, to make way for the B-21 Raider, is something we have been working toward for some time,” said Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, in a news release.

“Due to the wear and tear placed on the B-1 fleet over the past two decades, maintaining these bombers would cost tens of millions of dollars per aircraft to get back to status quo, and that’s just to fix the problems we know about. We’re just accelerating planned retirements,” Ray said in the release.

The service first retired 33 of the aircraft in 2003.

A single B-1 aircraft was spotted flying over Arizona earlier Wednesday; an Air Force spokesperson confirmed that aircraft was headed to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Davis-Monthan houses the “Boneyard,” where retired aircraft are kept for parts or future use. B-1s are also stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.

In the fiscal 2021 budget request, the Air Force proposed retiring 17 B-1B bombers from its 62-aircraft fleet in order to better sustain the most functional planes. Officials on Wednesday said a small number of the sweep-wing bombers are in a state that would require “approximately ten to 30 million dollars per aircraft to get back to a status quo,” according to the release.

The service plans to retire the entire fleet by 2036.

Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber
An airman salutes a B-1B Lancer that is being divested prior to its final launch from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, February 17, 2021.

Lawmakers allowed the service to go ahead with retirements, but said officials must provide a new bomber roadmap strategy detailing how its current “bomber aircraft force structure … enables the Air Force to meet the requirements of its long-range strike mission under the National Defense Strategy,” according to the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The strategy is due this month.

The law mandates that the bombers kept at the boneyard will be preserved well enough for their parts to be used for other bombers.

The Air Force spokesperson said that while final details are still being evaluated, 14 bombers will head to Davis-Monthan’s aircraft boneyard by the end of September.

Plans for the remaining three are still up in the air, but the bombers will likely be sent to Edwards Air Force Base, California for test purposes, or to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma for depot management and structural evaluation, the spokesperson said.

In 2012, the Air Force began the Integrated Battle Station, or IBS, modification for the B-1 – likely the largest and most complicated modification the bomber will see. The enhanced navigation and communication system upgrade – completed in September 2020 – cost the service roughly $1.1 billion, officials said.

Still, due to heavy use in the Middle East over a decade as the only US supersonic heavy-payload bomber, the Lancer fleet has seen repeated breakdowns and required extensive maintenance.

The repeated deployments caused the aircraft to deteriorate more quickly than expected, Ray said in 2019.

Ridding the fleet of these 17 bombers “will not affect the service’s lethality or any associated maintenance manpower,” officials said.

“Retiring aircraft with the least amount of usable life allows us to prioritize the health of the fleet and crew training,” Ray said, adding that fewer aircraft gives maintainers the ability to devote more time and attention to the remaining fleet.

The B-1 is capable of carrying both precision-guided and conventional bombs; plans are underway to make it more versatile for future operations.

In August 2019, the Air Force proved it could transform the Lancer to hold more ordnance, a first step toward carrying hypersonic weapons payloads.

B-1s have also been busy conducting flights around the world.

Over the last few months, the bombers have been spotted conducting multiple high-visibility patrols – known as a dynamic force employment – in the Indo-Pacific region, most notably across the East and South China Seas.

Last May, bombers from Ellsworth held their first-ever training mission over Sweden near the Arctic; B-1s will deploy to Norway in coming days for similar training, the Air Force said this month.

– Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

Read the original article on Business Insider