Tags: Russia | Deploys | Bombers | Near | Alaska

Russia Deploys Bombers Near Alaska

Thursday, 30 November 2000 12:00 AM

""We would anticipate they might fly up from the Bering Strait across to Alaska. We are monitoring it very closely," Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said.

"The Russians do this from time to time," he said. Bacon said the USS Kitty Hawk picked up the Russian planes and that at no time was the U.S. ship in danger.

The move follows two "buzzing" incidents by Russian fighters of an American aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan in October and November. The first incident occurred Oct. 17, while the Kitty Hawk was refueling. Russian fighters came within several thousand feet of the carrier, Bacon said.

The second incident occurred Nov. 9.

"I think this is normal training on their part. They are testing our responses," Bacon said. "For some reason, possibly lodged deeply in Cold War thinking, they held a press conference about this."

Bacon said the Russian Bear bombers – which he called "ponderous, propeller-driven bombers" – were deployed within the "last couple of days" to two bases: Anadyr on the Bering Sea and Tiksi air base on the Laptev Sea.

"We don't believe they have been permanently deployed. We think they are there temporarily," he said.

"In June 1999, two Bear bombers flew within striking distance of the United States during a major military exercise, but were intercepted by U.S. fighters and a P-3 near Iceland, according to the Federation of American Scientists, a Washington think tank.

In September 1999, two Bear bombers came within 90 miles of U.S. airspace around Alaska but turned back. According to FAS, that was the first approach to Alaska by a Bear bomber since March 1993.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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We would anticipate they might fly up from the Bering Strait across to Alaska. We are monitoring it very closely, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said. The Russians do this from time to time, he said. Bacon said the USS Kitty Hawk picked up the Russian planes and that...
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2000-00-30
Thursday, 30 November 2000 12:00 AM
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