9th EBS conducts first European B-1 hot-pit

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, the B-1 aircrew integrated with Danish, Polish and Swedish fighters over Denmark, Poland and Sweden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, the B-1 aircrew integrated with Danish, Polish and Swedish fighters over Denmark, Poland and Sweden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear, March 12, 2021. The B-1 integrated with ally and partner fighter aircraft and conducted the first ever hot-pit refueling of a B-1 in Europe at Powidz Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear, March 12, 2021. The B-1 integrated with ally and partner fighter aircraft and conducted the first ever hot-pit refueling of a B-1 in Europe at Powidz Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepares to land at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 aircrew conducted the first ever B-1 hot-pit refueling in Europe at  Powidz Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepares to land at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 aircrew conducted the first ever B-1 hot-pit refueling in Europe at Powidz Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron lands at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 integrated with ally and partner fighter aircraft and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers during a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron lands at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 integrated with ally and partner fighter aircraft and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers during a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron signals to a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 underwent the first ever B-1 hot-pit refuel in Europe at Powidz Air Base, Poland during a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron signals to a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 underwent the first ever B-1 hot-pit refuel in Europe at Powidz Air Base, Poland during a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron plugs a headset into a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, the B-1 aircrew integrated with Swedish, Danish, and Polish fighters and U.S. Marine and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A crew chief assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron plugs a headset into a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, the B-1 aircrew integrated with Swedish, Danish, and Polish fighters and U.S. Marine and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Aircrew assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron wait to board a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 was refuelled using a hot-pit ground refuelling method before taking off to conduct close air support training at the Setermoen range in northern Norway where the aircrew integrated with U.S. Marine and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Coordinators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Aircrew assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron wait to board a B-1B Lancer at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. The B-1 was refuelled using a hot-pit ground refuelling method before taking off to conduct close air support training at the Setermoen range in northern Norway where the aircrew integrated with U.S. Marine and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Coordinators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Crew chiefs assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron attach a fuel hose to a B-1B Lancer as part of a hot-pit refuelling mission at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During a hot-pit, an aircraft is refuelled shortly after landing without shutting down the engines or auxiliary systems, reducing the amount of time the jet spends on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

Crew chiefs assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron attach a fuel hose to a B-1B Lancer as part of a hot-pit refuelling mission at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During a hot-pit, an aircraft is refuelled shortly after landing without shutting down the engines or auxiliary systems, reducing the amount of time the jet spends on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, two B-1s flew to the Setermoen range in Northern Norway where the aircrew conducted a series of simulated bomb runs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, March 12, 2021. During Spring Spear, a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, two B-1s flew to the Setermoen range in Northern Norway where the aircrew conducted a series of simulated bomb runs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

ØRLAND AIR FORCE STATION, Norway --

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron took off from Ørland Air Force Base, Norway, to participate in a Bomber Task Force Europe training mission, Spring Spear, on March 12, 2021.

During Spring Spear, the B-1 aircrew integrated with Swedish, Polish and Danish fighters and U.S. Marine and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. The B-1 and crew also conducted the first-ever hot-pit ground refueling operation of a B-1 in Europe in Poland and Norway.

“We flew from here to Sweden where we were joined by two Swedish Gripen fighters,” said a 9th EBS weapon system weapons systems officer. “They flew with us in formation over most of Sweden and then took us to the intersection of Swedish and Polish airspace where we were met by two Polish F-16s who escorted us to Powidz Air Base in Poland.”

At Powidz AB, 9th EBS aircraft maintainers were in place on the ground awaiting the B-1’s arrival. Upon landing, the maintainers conducted a hot-pit refuel.

During a hot-pit, an aircraft is refueled shortly after landing without shutting down the engines or auxiliary systems, reducing the amount of time the jet spends on the ground.

Hot-pits make bomber operations more versatile by allowing the aircraft to forward deploy and temporarily operate out of strategic and unpredictable locations.

“The crew on the ground was phenomenal. They were fast, efficient and they all did a great job,” said the WSO. “We were green and ready to go an hour before we were scheduled to take-off.”

Following takeoff from Powidz AB, the B-1 aircrew was joined by two Polish F-16s who escorted them to the edge of Polish airspace where they were passed off to a Danish F-16 who escorted them through Danish airspace.

Then, the B-1 was refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker over the North Sea before returning to Ørland AFS.

Upon landing, the aircrew swapped out with a new team and ground crews conducted a hot-pit refueling operation as another B-1 was prepped for take-off.

Following the hot-pit at Ørland AFS, both B-1s took off to participate in a local training mission where the aircrew conducted a series of simulated bomb runs.

“We flew to the Setermoen range in Northern Norway where we worked with Marine and Norwegian JTACs,” said a 9th EBS B-1 aircraft commander. “We provided digitally aided close air support to the JTACs on the ground using simulated munition drops.”