Russian bombers spotted near California last week

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WASHINGTON — Russian bomber aircraft were spotted last week off Alaska and then within 50 miles of California, military officials said on Thursday.

Four long-range planes flew close to Alaska on June 4 where they were intercepted by U.S. fighter jets. Two peeled off and headed west, while the other two flew south and were identified by other American fighter aircraft within 50 miles of the California coast.

Details were confirmed to CNN by the Defense Department and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint U.S.-Canadian force.

The United States believes the Russians were on a training mission, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

The planes, which included Tu-95 Bear-H bombers and refueling aircraft, never breached U.S. air space, Capt. Jeff Davis, a NORAD spokesman, said.

But they did enter the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone, which is an area extending 200 miles from the North American coast and is mainly within international airspace. Commercial and other planes must identify themselves when they fly through that zone.

“They followed all the protocols and it was a very professional encounter on both sides,” Davis said. “There was nothing that they were doing that was contrary to international law.”

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers in the defense zone about 10 times a year, Davis said, though usually not near California.

Russian military planes were last intercepted off the coast of California on July 4, 2012, Davis added.

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7 comments

  • MG

    And earlier today people were criticizing our navy for conducting exercises that MIGHT disturb some marine animals in the vicinity. This, people, is why we must train hard and be ever vigilant.The world is full of bad guys. We need training, the latest weaponry, and the FULL support of the American people, including dimwit liberals.

  • TR

    Like the report says, this DOES happen a lot you are just not privie to the information all of the time. The reason they are reporting this now is to make Russia look like the big mean bad guy that they “USE” to be instead of the neutered little puppy they are now.

    • Steve

      Happened 2 years ago that is not what one would term ” a lot ” as you said. These are only dry runs to see if it can be done. Do not turn your back on people you don’t trust.

  • Dillon

    Were any of you able to actually READ this article, before you commented this drivel? I’m honestly surprised you care what happens outside of your bunkers and tinfoil hats……..

  • Terry Roberts

    Don’t discount the Russians as neutered puppies. My theory is not only the Russians but the Arabs do not have any fear of us or respect for us anymore as long as we have our current President.