U.S. B-1B Lancer Bomber Lands in Poland for the First Time

B-1's first landing in Poland (All images, courtesy: Albert Jabłoński/EPKS Spotters)

USAF B-1B made a fuel stop at the Polish 33rd Airlift Base in Powidz. This has been the first ever landing of the Bone on the Polish soil.

On Mar. 12, 2021, on the 22nd anniversary of the Polish accession to NATO, a U.S. Air Force B-1B belonging to the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, currently deployed to Norway, as part of a BTF (Bomber Task Force), landed a Powidz Air Base. The BONE (from “B-One”) landing in Powidz came from Orland Air Force Station, and conducted interoperability drills with tactical aviation elements of Sweden, Poland, and the Netherlands before landing at Powidz.

The aircraft visiting Poland, used radio callsign HUSSR02 and entered the Polish airspace via KARTKI, GRUDA, DEKUT, GINOK, BANPI route.

After conducting the hot pit refueling (refueling without turning off the engines, with its crew remaining in the cockpit) the aircraft departed from Powidz. USAF release made today stated that the maneuvers “drastically reduce refueling times, so that bombers can more rapidly return to the skies”. The procedure is a part of the so called Agile Combat Employment tactic boosting the bombers’ capability to rapidly deploy to remote airbases of varied capacity. In a sense, the concept is somewhat very similar to the one adopted during similar exercises that took place at the Powidz AB – the Rapid Raptor, and Rapid Forge operations, we could have witnessed during the recent years.

The B-1 over Powidz.

In the Polish airspace, the B-1Bs were escorted by the Polish Air Force’s F-16 jets that were scrambled from the Krzesiny AB near Poznan around noon.

The Polish MoD stressed the fact that another visit of the Lancers in the Polish airspace can be viewed as a visible sign of the US readiness to react to potential crises in the region.

The U.S. bomber escorted by two Polish F-16s.


About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.