US bombers land in northern Sweden for first time

A US Air Force Rockwell B-1B Lancer lands at Norrbotten’s air force base F 21 in Lulea, Sweden, on June 19, 2023 where they will participate in an exercise with the Swedish Air Force and Army. (Pontus Lundahl / TT News Agency /AFP via Getty Images)

“This is a historic event,” said Brigadier general Tommy Peterson, acting chief of Sweden’s air force.

The two B-1B bombers from the United States Air Force landed at Luleå Kallax Airbase for the first time in history on June 19.

The Americans says in a statement that the arrival of strategic bombers to Sweden highlights U.S. and Swedish cooperation and the ability of U.S. Forces to seamlessly integrate with allied and partner nations.

Sweden is on the doorstep to join NATO, only awaiting a Turkish approval.

The two planes that landed in northern Sweden are currently forward deployed at an air base in the United Kingdom.

“Important to have strong partners”

Last week, the two U.S. B-1B planes made a flyover at Turku air show in Finland together with a Finnish F/A-18 fighter jet. The U.S. planes, however, did not land in Finland.

“In these troubled times and while waiting for NATO membership, it is important to have strong partners,” Tommy Peterson says.

“We have repeated co-exercises with the Bomber Task Force where we practiced the entire chain, from escort and liaison to sharp weapons action and now we are taking the next step in our collaboration by basing the B1-B Lancer on Swedish soil,” Peterson added.

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Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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