A few days later, the U.S. Air Force Command revealed the operation of long-range bombers B-1B Lancers to use attack forces in the Arctic. The bomber group made a transcontinental flight, flying from the airbase Eielson (Aelson) in Alaska and following the polar route near the North Pole to Norway, where it worked out tasks in cooperation with the Norwegian Air Force.
As noted in the U.S. Air Force, two B-1B Lancers aircraft assigned to the 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron conducted training with the Norwegian Air Force on September 25 during a 16-hour flight through the North Pole as part of the mission of the bomber group. The bomber mission was refueled in the air over the Arctic Ocean and then spent several hours training with Norwegian forces off the coast of Greenland and over the Norwegian Sea.
“This strengthened the ability of the U.S. Air Force to conduct complex operations in various areas of responsibility with allies and NATO partners,” the U.S. command emphasized.
According to 345th Squadron Commander Christopher Hawn, the ability to operate in the Arctic region is important to support the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) initiatives and to achieve the goals of the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
“In a military conflict, we will need the closest access point that may require us to pass through the Arctic, so we need to make sure we have a good understanding of this operational environment,” Hawn said.
“The fact that we can conduct operations from Alaska to anywhere in the EUCOM area of responsibility is a strong signal. Increased global competition for access and control of the region reinforces the Arctic’s status as a critical territory,” Air Force Command said September 30.
The U.S. military points out that training U.S. forces in the Arctic is becoming increasingly important as “the region is of strategic importance to the U.S. Air Force and its allies and partners.
“It is also vital to homeland security as it provides access to the U.S. from space, air, sea and land,” the command notes.
TOP NEWS adds: Since arriving in Alaska on Sept. 11, the U.S. Air Force has already conducted more than 16 flights from Eielson Air Force Base to various regions, including the Arctic.
Flights of the B-1 Lancer supersonic long-range bomber near the Russian borders are an obvious military demonstration, which is always emphasized by the American command. In May of this year, the first long-range B-1 Lancer bomber exercises in the Swedish and Norwegian airspace took place in Scandinavia.
On September 17, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the military and political situation in the Arctic was becoming more complicated. According to him, “first of all, there is a growing competition in the Arctic between the leading states of the world for access to resources and transport communications”, in order to strengthen the defense capacity of the Russian Federation and to ensure the national interests of Russia in this region, the Ministry of Defense in particular “actively develops the Northern Fleet”. In cooperation with long-range aviation, the practical firing of all kinds of weapons is being practiced.
“The construction of Nagurskaya and Temp airfields, block-module camps for newly formed units of the 3rd Air Defense Division and weapons storage facilities continue. The berthing front for the latest missile submarine cruisers of the Borey-A project is being reconstructed,” the minister said.
He also emphasized that the Northern Fleet is equipped with modern military equipment, this year it will receive new 179 weapons. The nuclear submarine missile cruiser with ballistic missiles Prince Vladimir and the frigate Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov, the sea tanker Akademik Pashin and hydrographic vessel Nikolai Skosirev have already joined the fleet.