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U.S. B-1B Bombers Arrive In Sweden For Bomber Task Force 24-2

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B-1 Bomber Task Force
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, approaches the runway as it arrives for Bomber Task Force 24-2 at Luleå-Kallax Air Base, Sweden, Feb. 23, 2024. BTF operations provide U.S. leaders with strategic options to assure Allies and partners, while deterring potential adversary aggression across the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Jacobsen)

Two bombers deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base to Luleå-Kallax Air Base, where they will integrate with the Swedish Armed Forces, NATO Allies and other international partners.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, arrived in Luleå-Kallax Air Base, Sweden, for Bomber Task Force 24-2 on Feb. 23, 2024. This deployment happens less than a year after the first ever landing of a “BONE” (from “B-One”, as the aircraft is unofficially nicknamed) in Sweden in June 2023, and also represents the first time a B-1B Bomber Task Force Europe is not based at RAF Fairford, UK (the only BTF not in Fairford was the B-2 BTF in Iceland in 2023).

During the deployment, the bomber crews and Ellsworth support personnel will integrate with the Swedish Armed Forces, NATO Allies and other international partners to synchronize capabilities and assure security commitments across the U.S. European Command area of responsibility. As for BTF 24-1, the goal of the Bomber Task Force is to provide “U.S. and NATO leaders with strategic options to assure Allies and partners, while also deterring potential adversary aggression throughout Europe and across the globe.”

Additionally, the press statement says through these missions, U.S. Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa enables dynamic force employment in the European theater, providing strategic predictability and assurance for Allies and partners while contributing to deterrence by introducing greater operational unpredictability for potential adversaries.

BTF 24-2 started just three weeks after Ellsworth’s B-1Bs conducted retaliatory airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and about two months after the crash which caused flight operations at Ellsworth to be paused pending the investigation and the removal of the damaged bomber.

“Once again the Raiders of Ellsworth have validated our ability to conduct long range precision strike and provide global reach for America,” said Col. Derek Oakley, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “This BTF mission clearly demonstrates the U.S. commitment to NATO Allies and partners.”

Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.





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