Four US Air Force B-1 bombers and approximately 200 personnel from Dyess Air Force in Texas are being deployed to Orland Air Base in Norway, and within the next three weeks, missions will begin in the Arctic Circle and in international airspace off northwestern Russia, according to multiple defense officials.

Until now, military missions over the Arctic had been largely staged out of the United Kingdom. The movement of forces much closer to Russia means the US will be able to react more quickly to potential Russia aggression, officials say.

“Operational readiness and our ability to support allies and partners and respond with speed is critical to combined success,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa.