Russian Bombers Seen Off Alaskan and Californian Coasts
In what has been described by U.S. Officials as a "routine training exercise", four Russian bombers were spotted earlier this week flying some 50 miles off the southern Alaska and Northern California coastlines. The Russian fighter jets were identified as Tu-95 Bear long-range bombers. It has been reported that these Russian bombers entered the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone off of Alaska around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time on Monday.
Once the Russian bombers were spotted, the command was given at the North American Defense Command in Colorado to send several F-22 fighter jets based in Alaska to make visual contact with them. It is normal procedure when any aircraft enters the ADIZ air space that there be communication with them and they identify themselves. NORAD is the name given to the strategic air defense system employed to defend the North American air space. The United States and Canada work together in the NORAD operation. Canadian Army Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk reported that at no time was there ever a threat posed by the Russian jet fighters, as they remained at all times in International air space. This is the first time since July, 2012 that Russian bombers have flown this close to American soil.
As tensions rise overseas with Russia's involvement in the Ukraine, it is extremely important that the U.S. and Canada remain vigilant in watching the air space over North America. Since Russian jet fighters like the Tu-95 Bears can often be heavily armed in training exercises like these, it is extremely important that we stay on the alert.. It is not known what the true intent of these exercises were but it's good to know that our air defense system is hard at work protecting our country.