The United States is deploying B-1 bombers to Norway for the first time, sending a message to Russia that it will operate in the arctic region and will defend its allies.
According to defense officials, the U.S. Air Force is deploying four B-1 bombers and around 200 personnel from the Dyess Air Force Base in Texas to the Orland Air Base in Norway to counter Russian aggression near the border.
“The Airmen are part of the advance team for scheduled missions that will execute in the coming weeks for a limited time,” the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa said in a statement.
“Operational readiness and our ability to support allies and partners and respond with speed is critical to combined success. We value the enduring partnership we have with Norway and look forward to future opportunities to bolster our collective defense,” U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa Commander Gen. Jeff Harrigian said.
Defense officials said that the missions will start in the Arctic Circle and in international air space off northwestern Russia.
Officials said that bomber deployment missions take weeks to plan, thus the first-ever bomber deployment to Norway has been planned for some time.
Last Jan. 26, Biden had his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, raising several issues, including the major SolarWinds cyberattack and the poisoning for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” a readout from the official website of the White House said.
The defense department also has concerns on Russia’s military presence in the Arctic region for maritime access, as well as access to natural resources.
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