By Gary P Jackson
It is being reported that two Russian Bear bombers were intercepted while flying near the west coast of the United States on the 4th of July, an obvious taunt from the Russians on our nation’s most important day.
This is the second incident in the past two weeks, where Russian nuclear capable bombers have entered, or come near U.S. air space.
This is nothing new, as the Russians are known to violate American air space often. On Sarah Palin’s watch, as Governor of Alaska, and Commander-in-Chief, the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing routinely escorted the Russians out of Alaskan air space. In fact, the 176th received the Air Force’s Outstanding Unit Award for its service to the nation . Part of the citation noted:
The 176th Air Control Squadron maintained North American air sovereignty by detecting, monitoring and escorting 22 Russian bombers from within its area of operations.
While it’s troubling that Russian nuclear bombers were routinely violating Alaskan air space, one has to realize how close Alaska and Russia are. The west coast of the United States is another matter altogether.
How were these nuclear capable bombers allowed to get so close to the continental United States?
From Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon:
Putin’s July 4th Message
Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted near West Coast in second U.S. air defense zone intrusion in two weeks
Two Russian strategic nuclear bombers entered the U.S. air defense zone near the Pacific coast on Wednesday and were met by U.S. interceptor jets, defense officials told the Free Beacon.
It was the second time Moscow dispatched nuclear-capable bombers into the 200-mile zone surrounding U.S. territory in the past two weeks.
An earlier intrusion by two Tu-95 Bear H bombers took place near Alaska as part of arctic war games that a Russian military spokesman said included simulated attacks on “enemy” air defenses and strategic facilities.
A defense official said the Pacific coast intrusion came close to the U.S. coast but did not enter the 12-mile area that the U.S. military considers sovereign airspace.
The bomber flights near the Pacific and earlier flights near Alaska appear to be signs Moscow is practicing the targeting of its long-range air-launched cruise missiles on two strategic missile defense sites, one at Fort Greely, Alaska and a second site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
In May, Russian Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said during a Moscow conference that because missile defense systems are destabilizing, “A decision on pre-emptive use of the attack weapons available will be made when the situation worsens.” The comments highlighted Russian opposition to planned deployments of U.S. missile defense interceptors and sensors in Europe.
The U.S. defense official called the latest Bear H incident near the U.S. West Coast “Putin’s Fourth of July Bear greeting to Obama.”
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska commander for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the latest Bear H intrusion appears to be Russian military testing.
“It’s becoming very obvious that Putin is testing Obama and his national security team,” McInerney told the Free Beacon. “These long-range aviation excursions are duplicating exercises I experienced during the height of the Cold War when I command the Alaska NORAD region.
McInerney said the Bear H flights are an effort by the Russians to challenge U.S. resolve, something he noted is “somewhat surprising as Obama is about to make a unilateral reduction of our nuclear forces as well as major reductions in our air defense forces.”
“Actions by Russia in Syria and Iran demonstrate that Cold War strategy may be resurrected,” he said.
“These are not good indications of future U.S. Russian relations.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said the incident occurred July 4. He said the “out-of-area patrol by two Russian long range bombers … entered the outer [Air Defense Identification Zone]” and the bombers “were visually identified by NORAD fighters.”
Kirby said the bombers did not enter “sovereign airspace.” He declined to identify the specific distance the aircraft flew from the United States due to operational security concerns. He also declined to identify the types of aircraft used to intercept the bombers.
In last month’s intercept of two Russian Tu-95 bombers, U.S. F-15s and Canadian CF-18s were used. The most likely aircraft used in Wednesday’s intercept were U.S. F-15 jets based at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
Kirby and U.S. Northern Command spokesmen, apparently in line with the Obama administration’s conciliatory reset policy toward Russia, sought to play down both bomber intrusions.
The Pentagon spokesman said the latest Pacific intrusion was “assessed as another training activity.”
Rather than using traditional military terminology common during the Cold War to describe the meeting of the violating bombers as an “intercept,” Kirby said that the bombers were “visually identified” by jets described only as joint U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) jets.
“NORAD is postured to ensure air warning and control for the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska,” Kirby said. “NORAD maintains an extensive radar system around North America and has aircraft located throughout the United States and Canada that can respond quickly to any unidentified flights approaching the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).”
Kirby said the ADIZ is extends about 200 miles from the coast and is “mainly within international airspace.”
“The outer limits of the ADIZ goes well beyond U.S. sovereign air space which only extends 12 nautical miles from land,” he said. “As part of its mission, NORAD tracks and identifies all aircraft flying in the ADIZ in advance of any aircraft entering sovereign airspace.”
Read more here.
It’s very troubling to see the Obama regime downplaying these overflights by nuclear capable bombers. It’s highly unlikely these aircraft actually had nuclear weapons aboard, but it’s obvious that Russia is testing President Obama’s resolve to protect the nation from her enemies. And make no mistake, Russia is our enemy.
As noted, these bombers may have been testing their ability to launch cruise missiles and take out our early warning systems as well as our defense capabilities.
It would seem Obama doesn’t much care about protecting the homeland from what could have just as well have been a full scale nuclear attack, or an attack on our defenses in preparation for such an attack.
The Russians, on the other hand, would have never been so tolerant of such activities. Remember, in September of 1983 the Soviets shot down a civilian passenger jet, Korean Airlines flight number 007, killing all 289 passengers and crew. The plane was simply off course, and clearly identifiable as a commercial airliner, and yet, it was blown out of the sky.
I’m not saying our Air Force should be blowing Russian nuclear bombers out of the sky [unless they fail to comply with orders to leave U.S. airspace] but allowing them to get in sight of our west coast is completely unacceptable.
The entire response by the Obama regime is unacceptable.
If you’re still looking for a reason to vote for Mitt Romney, in order defeat Barack Obama, this might be your answer. We simply cannot have nuclear capable bombers overflying our nation. And it’s obvious that Barack Obama doesn’t care.
We need new leadership in this country.