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A B-1B aircraft on a flight out of Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. Photo: USAF via Getty Images

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers arrived in Norway from Texas' Dyess Air Force Base on Monday for a training mission in Europe.

Why it matters: It's the first time American bombers have operated out of Norway, per a statement from the U.S. Air Force. Officials told CNN the move sends a "clear message" to Russia about the strategic importance of the Arctic region.

  • Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, said in the statement, "Training with allies like Norway enables us to hone our deterrence and defense capabilities while also enhancing regional stability."

Of note: A pair of Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic missile carriers performed a mission in international air space over neutral waters of the Norwegian, Greenland and Barents seas earlier this month, per The Aviationist.

For the record: All U.S. Air Force personnel were medically screened before traveling to Norway, the statement said.

  • They immediately entered "restriction of movement" upon arrival in order to comply with the Scandinavian country's COVID-19 requirements.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Allies worried Biden shaky on Putin's pipeline

Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Russia's adversaries in central and Eastern Europe are worried President Biden isn't willing to fight hard to stop the Russia-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 — one of Vladimir Putin's core priorities.

Why it matters: The fight is the first significant test of whether Biden's tough rhetoric against the Russian leader will be matched by action. Russian opponents fear Biden doesn't want to antagonize Angela Merkel and won't inflict serious costs on the Germans.

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

40 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.