September 20, 2014By Rick Moran
US F-22’s intercepted 6 Russian MIG’s that had flown within 55 miles of Alaska..
What is Putin up to?
Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.
The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.
At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.
In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.
Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.”
In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace.
More of the same? Given Putin’s recent bellicose statements about Russia being capable of being in the capitals of 5 NATO countries withing 48 hours, this may be different. Of course, all of these incursions are tests – probing for weaknesses and testing our responses. But you can’t ignore what else the Russian president has been up to and the other provocative moves he is making around the periphery of NATO.
Putin is pushing and until someone pushes back, he’ll continue to take whatever liberties he can get away with.