The US has deployed two B-1 bombers to Orland airbase in Norway last week and conducted patrol flights along the NATO-Russia border.
“This is the first time that we are generating flights in partnership with our close ally, Norway, as well as operating from Norwegian soil,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa.
The bombers were escorted by NATO Typhoon fighters as they flew over the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
NATO claimed that the deployment should not be seen as a threat but as a demonstration of the bomber’s capabilities and to reassure member states that they could be defended.
“This mission sends a clear message that our commitment to our NATO allies is unshakeable,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander.
The mission was also supposed to help US personnel get used to colder climates and to train with Norwegian armed forces.
In response to the flyovers, the Russian air force sent a Su-27 “Flanker” fighter to intercept and shadow the B-1s.
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