Earlier this week two Russian strategic nuclear bombers were detected near the West Coast in the Pacific Ocean. The interception of the Russian bombers was the second such occurrence in the past two weeks, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The long range bombers moved into United States air defense zones but did not traverse sovereign airspace. Pentagon representative Capt. John Kirby stated NORAD fighters “visually identified” the Russian bombers, according to information republished in The Blaze. An unnamed U.S. Defense official referred to the latest Russian bomber incident as Putin’s “Fourth of July Bear greeting to Obama.”
“It’s becoming very obvious that Putin is testing Obama and his national security team. These long-range aviation excursions are duplicating exercises I experienced during the height of the Cold War when I commanded the Alaska NORAD region,” Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney told the Washington Free Beacon.
The first appearance of Russian nuclear bombers near America’s West Coast happened in late June when two Tu-95 Bear H bombers conducted “war games” near Fort Greely, Alaska. The Russian military exercises included simulated air defense attacks on “strategic facilities,” according to a Russian spokesmen interviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The newspaper also reports that Moscow “appears” to be practicing the targeting capabilities if its long-range air launch cruise missiles to reach Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Earlier this spring Russian General Staffer Nikolai Makarov stated during a conference in Moscow that the county’s missile defense systems are destabilizing and a decision on the “pre-emptive” use of the weapons will be made when the situation “worsens,” according to conference excerpts republished in The Blaze.