PHOTOS: US B-1 Bombers Land in Sweden for First Time

A pair U.S. Air Power B-1 bombers kicked off a historic deployment this week, touching down in Sweden on June 19.

“That is the primary time U.S. bombers have landed in Sweden,” a spokesperson for U.S. Air Forces in Europe informed Air & Area Forces Journal.

The deployment marks one more signal of strengthened ties between the U.S. and the Nordic nation—whilst its bid to hitch NATO continues to be in query. 

The 2 B-1B Lancers from the seventh Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Power Base, Texas, landed at Luleå Kallax Airbase, Sweden. The plane are in Europe as a part of a four-plane Bomber Job Power rotation primarily based out of RAF Fairford in the UK.

The U.S. and Sweden have grown more and more shut for the reason that Scandinavian nation utilized to hitch NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Finland joined NATO as its thirty first member in April, and U.S. officers are holding out hope that Turkey will drop its opposition so Sweden can quickly turn into the thirty second member at an upcoming summit in July in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Within the meantime, the U.S. is making it clear that Sweden’s standing as a detailed ally is robust.

Although U.S. B-1s have exercised with the Swedish Air Power and flown in Swedish airspace earlier than, the bomber landing was a primary. The bombers had been escorted by Swedish Gripen fighters.

“U.S. forces have carried out workout routines and coaching within the Arctic area, however the touchdown fortifies not solely the friendship between the U.S. and Sweden, however the collective protection of Europe,” a U.S. Air Forces in Europe launch said.

Sweden’s protection minister and prime minister mentioned not too long ago Sweden is prepared to host NATO troops even earlier than it turns into a member of the alliance.

“The extra we will combine forces and tools to maneuver throughout Europe, the extra prepared we’re to face safety challenges, now and sooner or later,” mentioned Air Power Brig. Gen. Bryony Terrell, U.S. European Command’s deputy director for strategic plans and coverage.

The bombers had been accompanied by personnel flown in a C-130, in accordance with the USAFE spokesperson. It was unclear how lengthy the deployment to Sweden will final.

“The aim is to follow the protection of Sweden, on and over Swedish territory,” the Swedish Armed Forces mentioned in a launch on the B-1 deployment.

Throughout a press briefing on June 20, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh didn’t say whether or not the U.S. deliberate to select up the tempo of deployments whereas Sweden waits to hitch NATO however highlighted the shut partnership between the 2 nations.

“Sweden has a particularly succesful army, and for a few years, the U.S. and Sweden and NATO nations have skilled aspect by aspect collectively,” Singh mentioned.

Singh mentioned that the connection would solely develop stronger when—not if—Sweden joined NATO.

“We stay up for forging an excellent deeper relationship with Sweden after they formally turn into the thirty second member of NATO,” she mentioned.