Two B-1B strategic bombers have landed in Sweden for the first time in history on Monday.
Flying as SPICY 11 and SPICY 12 two B-1B Lancer bombers belonging to the 7th Bomb Wing, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and deployed to RAF Fairford, for Bomber Task Force 23-3, landed at Luleå-Kallax airport, in Sweden.
The two aircraft, serial 86-0105 and 86-0103 were the first two B-1s to ever land in Sweden and, according to the U.S. Air Force, this was also the very first time a U.S. bomber landed in the nordics state [despite the official release that says it was the first ever landing, it looks like in WWII a certain number of American bombers landed there…].
“U.S. Forces have conducted exercises and training in the Arctic region, but the landing fortifies not only the friendship between the U.S. and Sweden, but the collective defense of Europe,” says a USAF public release.
During a Key Leader Event, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen Bryony Terrell, U.S. European Command deputy director for strategic plans and policy noted, “The U.S. and Sweden have a long history together, in exercises and training, bilateral and multilateral security cooperation, and operations, of which today is one key example.”
This arrival of strategic bombers in Sweden highlights U.S. and Swedish cooperation and the ability of U.S. Forces to seamlessly integrate with allied and partner nations.
“The more we can integrate forces and equipment to maneuver across Europe, the more ready we are to face security challenges, now and in the future,” said Brig. Gen. Terrell.
Training with joint Partners and Allied nations forges the enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.
“This is a historic event” said Swedish Deputy Air Force Chief Brigadier General Tommy Petersson. “In these troubled times and while waiting for NATO membership, it is important to have strong partners. 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 cooperation by basing the B-1B Lancer on Swedish soil,” he said.
The two B-1Bs were escorted by three JAS 39 Gripen jets of the Swedish Air Force on their way to Luleå-Kallax airport.
Our friend @Saint1Mil was at the British base in Gloucestershire, England, when the two bombers launched. He took the video you can see below, noting that this was also the first time on this deployment RWY 27 was used: up to this point, all take-offs and landings were on RWY 09 at RAF Fairford.