The Air Force has deployed four B-1B Lancer bombers to Ørland in Norway and the Russians are very upset about it. The Lancers come from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. This latest move signals a shift towards the Arctic by the U.S. military to counter Russia but it also represents a shift for Norway, an important NATO ally.
As reported in High North News, Norway was careful to try and put the Russians at ease about the first-ever deployment of a strategic bomber, like B-1B Lancers, to the country. In a joint telephone press conference with USAFE Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham and Lt. Gen. Yngve Odlo, Chief of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, Gen Odlo stated, “It’s normal military activity between two close allies. The only special thing is that it is the new asset being deployed to Norway. But it is also a quite normal, and an important asset to be able to conduct high-intensity joint, combined operations.”
Yet, the Russians did not react as if this were a normal deployment. On its Facebook page the Russian Embassy in Oslo posted the following:
“The activation of the foreign military presence in Norway and in the North including sending strategic bombers ‘B-1B Lancers’ does not contribute generally in terms of stability… We will continue to monitor the situation and implement measures to defend the security of our country and the region.”