Minot B-52s train with Norwegian F-16s, F-35As

USAF Boeing B-52H Stratofortresses have trained with Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) F-16AM (MLU) Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning II fighters over Northern Europe and the Arctic.

In total, four B-52Hs took part in a long-range, long-duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission in northern Europe and the Arctic region on June 3. The bombers involved were from the 5th Bomb Wing (BW) ‘Warbirds’ at Minot Air Force Base (AFB), North Dakota.

USAF B-52H and RNoAF F-35As, F-16AMs [USAF] #1
Lockheed Martin F-16AM (MLU) Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning IIs from the RNoAF form up with a USAF B-52H during the Bomber Task Force mission on June 3. USAF

During the flight, the B-52s flew over the Arctic Ocean and Laptev Sea. The aircraft also conducted training with Norwegian F-16s and F-35As. Additionally, the bombers were supported by Boeing KC-135R Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) ‘Bloody Hundredth’ from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK, and the 168th ARW from Eielson AFB, Alaska.

Gen Jeff Harrigan, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, said: “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… The integration of our bombers across Europe and the Arctic is key to enhancing regional security.”

Boeing B-52H Stratofortress [USAF/TSgt Emerson Nuñez] #1
A USAF B-52H Stratofortress - serial 60-0023 (c/n 464388) - assigned to the 23rd Bomb Squadron (BS) 'Barons' peels off from behind a KC-135R Stratotanker after receiving fuel off the northern Norwegian coast on June 3. USAF/TSgt Emerson Nuñez

This Bomber Task Force flight follows recent missions of a similar nature, which took place last month and involved Rockwell B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. These missions saw the supersonic-capable strategic bombers link up with fighter aircraft from Denmark, Poland and the UK.