Earlier this week, the US Air Force teamed up with its Norwegian counterpart to carry out a first-of-its-kind joint training exercise amid NATO’s ongoing Icelandic Air Policing (IAP) operation.
The US Air Force made history on Monday after two B-2 stealth bombers of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 conducted their first joint training and flight with allied Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 Lightning II jets.
The Barents Observer reported that the two US stealth bombers, accompanied by British F-15C Eagles, departed Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, to meet up with the Norwegian aircraft out of Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland.
“This was indeed a special moment,” Sigurd Tonning-Olsen, a spokesperson with the Norwegian Armed Forces, told the outlet in a phone interview. “The pilots were really excited.”
Tonning-Olsen detailed that the three F-35s were in the air for approximately one and a half hours total and conducted joint training with the B-2s for somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes of that time.
Four F-35s belonging to the Royal Norwegian Air Force have been stationed at Keflavik since February 19 to provide support to NATO’s IAP operation, which was launched in 2008 to provide surveillance and coverage of Iceland following the withdrawal of US forces from the country in 2006. Business Insider reported that some 130 Norwegian military and affiliated civilian personnel also arrived in Iceland last month during the…