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US B-1 bombers arrive in Norway in historic first

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas arrived in Norway on Monday as part of a training mission in Europe, marking the first time U.S. bombers have operated out of the Scandinavian country.

The U.S. Air Force said in a statement that since 2018, strategic bomber missions have involved "U.S. integration with NATO allies and regional partners."

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, said training with the Norwegians "enables us to hone our deterrence and defense capabilities while also enhancing regional stability." 

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“I’m looking forward to showcasing our ability to operate out of this new location and get after the mission in fresh environments,” Harrigian said in the statement.

The mission also includes training to respond to crises worldwide, the Air Force noted. 

All U.S. Air Force personnel were medically screened prior to travel and will immediately enter a "restriction of movement" upon entering Norway as part of coronavirus public health measures, the Air Force said in the statement.

Norway announced new coronavirus restrictions last month in an attempt to stop a third wave of cases.