Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers greeted American Independence Day with a pair of air space incursions near Alaska and California.
The first incident occurred inside our 12-mile coastal sovereign air space near Alaska. A pair of Air Force F-22 Raptors scrambled to meet two Bear bombers at 10:30 am PDT on July 4th. The propeller-driven TU-95’s can carry nuclear payloads.
Thirty minutes later, the Air Force dispatched a pair of F-15’s just off the California coast.
Meetings such as these were common throughout the Cold War as both the Russians and our country kept nuclear-armed bombers in the air around the clock. However, with current political situation first in the Crimea and currently in Ukraine, the United States as increased pressure on Russia with crippling economic sanctions. Russian president Vladimir Putin, a former KGB chief, has ratcheted up his country’s military posture. They seized land in the Crimea during the Winter Olympics last year and are pushing west into the Ukraine. Putin’s goal is to place the Russian military on more of a Cold War level of capability.
The Russians and NATO have also squared off at sea recently with warships performing exercises in uncomfortably close border positions.
On a global basis, Russia continues to oppose U.S. policies in the Middle East as well as forming strategic partnerships with China, which is aggressively building man-made islands in the South China Sea.
U.S. F-22s, F-15s intercepted two pairs of Russian Tu-95 bombers off Alaska and California on July 4th http://t.co/nHzKUlAJyj
— Blogs of War (@BlogsofWar) July 7, 2015