The first deployment of American bombers at a Norwegian air base has been met with criticism from several parties, who warned that an escalation of US activity on Norwegian soil is not in the country’s interest amid a negative spiral of ever-increasing tensions between the US and Russia.
American bombers will be deployed to the Ørland Air Base during the course of February. Crews numbering some 200 airmen have already arrived at the base, the Norwegian Armed Forced stressed, finally confirming previous reports.
“The planes will arrive in February, depending on how long it will take to get through preparations for crews, among other things with regard to infection control and coronavirus”, the head of 132th Air Wing at Ørland Air Base, Øivind Gunnerud, told national broadcaster NRK.
This will be the first time in recent history that American bombers are deployed at a Norwegian air base. The Air Force has practiced together with US bombers in Norwegian airspace before, but only in the air. The planes will now be stationed at Ørland for some time to come.
“The planes will be here for a month, but it can be shorter or longer. Depending on how this goes”, Gunnerud said.
The Norwegian Air Force didn’t reveal how many bombers will arrive. According to the Dutch aviation magazine Scramble, there are four B-1B Lancers in question. The bombers will be supported by Norwegian F-35s. While Ørland has extensive experience in training with alliance partners, such as NATO’s AWACS…