A pair of Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew near Alaska, coming as close as 100 miles from Kodiak Island — the first time since President Trump took office that Moscow has sent bombers so close to the United States.
U.S. officials said on April 18 that the two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers flew roughly 280 miles southwest of Elmendorf Air Force Base, within the Air Defense Identification Zone of the United States, on April 17.
The U.S. Air Force scrambled two F-22 stealth fighter jets to intercept the Russian bombers, in an operation that was “safe and professional,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross.
The American jets flew alongside the Russian bombers for 12 minutes, before the Russian bombers reversed course and headed back to their base in eastern Russia, Fox News reported.
The last time Russian bombers flew near the United States was July 4, 2015, when a pair of Russian bombers flew off the coasts of Alaska and California, coming as close as 40 miles to Mendocino, California.
During that incident, CNN reported that the Russian pilots relayed a message of greetings on the U.S. independence day.