9th EBS showcases ACE during Agile Condor; first time bombers land in Arctic

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot grabs aircrew flight equipment at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. Four 9th EBS B-1B Lancer aircrew participated in Agile Condor, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission that marked the first time that B-1’s have landed within the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot grabs aircrew flight equipment at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. Four 9th EBS B-1B Lancer aircrew participated in Agile Condor, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission that marked the first time that B-1’s have landed within the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Aircrew assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepare to board a B-1B Lancer on the flightline at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The aircrew participated in the Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor, where they conducted a warm pit ground refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Aircrew assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepare to board a B-1B Lancer on the flightline at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The aircrew participated in the Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor, where they conducted a warm pit ground refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot boards a B-1B bomber at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2020. The aircrew participated in the Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor, where they flew from Ørland AFS to Bodø AFS, Norway to conduct warm pit ground refueling. Operating the B-1 out of locations that typically do not support a bomber presence demonstrates strategic Agile Combat Employment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot boards a B-1B bomber at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2020. The aircrew participated in the Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor, where they flew from Ørland AFS to Bodø AFS, Norway to conduct warm pit ground refueling. Operating the B-1 out of locations that typically do not support a bomber presence demonstrates strategic Agile Combat Employment capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron communicates with B-1B Lancer aircrew prior to take-off at Ørland Air Force Base, Norway, March 8, 2021. The 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Ørland AFS in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe deployment to conduct a series of training missions while integrating with NATO allies and partner forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron communicates with B-1B Lancer aircrew prior to take-off at Ørland Air Force Base, Norway, March 8, 2021. The 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Ørland AFS in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe deployment to conduct a series of training missions while integrating with NATO allies and partner forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron is refueled at Bodø Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The B-1 conducted a Bomber Task Force training mission, Agile Condor, marking the first time that a B-1 has landed within the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron is refueled at Bodø Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The B-1 conducted a Bomber Task Force training mission, Agile Condor, marking the first time that a B-1 has landed within the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flies over Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The B-1 was refueled using warm-pit ground refueling at Bodø AFS, Norway, as part of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Daniel Barnhorst)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flies over Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. The B-1 was refueled using warm-pit ground refueling at Bodø AFS, Norway, as part of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Daniel Barnhorst)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepares to land at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. Operating out of Norway showcases the 9th EBS’ ability to adapt and perform missions throughout strategic geographic locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Daniel Barnhorst)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepares to land at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 8, 2021. Operating out of Norway showcases the 9th EBS’ ability to adapt and perform missions throughout strategic geographic locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Daniel Barnhorst)

ØRLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Norway --

A B-1B Lancer and aircrew assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron took off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, to conduct a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Agile Condor, March 8, 2021.

Agile Condor marks the first time that a U.S. bomber has landed in the Arctic Circle.

The B-1 operators flew to Bodø AFS, Norway, marking the first time that bombers have landed in the Arctic where aircraft maintainers with the 9th EBS conducted a warm-pit refueling.

“A warm-pit is a refueling operation where the aircraft engines are shut down while the auxiliary power units remain on without the aircrew exiting the jet,” said the 9th EBS maintenance lead at Bodø AFS. “This is done to reduce the time that the aircraft is on the ground and allows us to get the jet airborne faster.”

The time saved through warm-pit refueling improves the efficiency of B-1 operations.

“We are making our operations less predictable,” said the BTF project officer. “Warm-pits do not require extensive advanced coordination, allowing us to land at any airfield with a long enough runway, reload, and get back in the air as fast as possible.”

Training missions such as Agile Condor demonstrate the 9th EBS’ ability to perform operations in an unpredictable manner from unfamiliar locations.

This concept is referred to as Agile Combat Employment. For ACE missions and exercises, bomber aircraft will deploy and operate out of locations that are not familiar with a bomber presence.

“If the adversary does not know what bases we will be operating from, they will not be able to target bomber bases in advance,” said the project officer. “Utilizing ACE makes us unpredictable, giving us the strategic edge to forward deploy to any airfield at any time.”