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  • Bear Bombers Over Guam


    Bear Bombers Over Guam


    February 15, 2013
    By Bill Gertz

    Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam this week in the latest sign of Moscow’s growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States.

    The Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers were equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and were followed by U.S. jets as they circumnavigated Guam on Feb. 12 local time—hours before President Barack Obama’s state of the union address.

    Air Force Capt. Kim Bender, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Air Force in Hawaii, confirmed the incident to the Washington Free Beacon and said Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, “scrambled and responded to the aircraft.”

    “The Tu-95s were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction. No further actions occurred,” she said. Bender said no other details would be released “for operational security reasons.”

    The bomber incident was considered highly unusual. Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.

    John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and former State Department international security undersecretary, said the Russian bomber flights appear to be part of an increasingly threatening strategic posture in response to Obama administration anti-nuclear policies.

    “Every day brings new evidence that Obama’s ideological obsession with dismantling our nuclear deterrent is dangerous,” Bolton said. “Our national security is in danger of slipping off the national agenda even as the threats grow.”

    Defense officials said the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead.

    The F-15s that intercepted the bombers were based at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and were deployed to Guam for the ongoing annual Exercise Guahan Shield 2013.

    Two U.S. B-2 strategic bombers were deployed to Guam in late January and last fall advanced F-22 fighter bombers were temporarily stationed on the island. Three nuclear-powered attack submarines and the Global Hawk long-range drone also are based in Guam.

    About 200 Marines currently are training on the island. Earlier news reports stated that Japanese and Australian military jets joined U.S. jets in the Guam exercises.

    Guam is one of the key strategic U.S. military bases under the Obama administration’s new “pivot” to Asia policy. As a result, it is a target of China and North Korea. Both have missiles capable of hitting the island, located about 1,700 miles east of the Philippines in the Mariana island chain.

    This week’s bomber flights are a sign the Russians are targeting the island as well, one defense official said.

    Guam also plays a key role in the Pentagon’s semi-secret strategy called the Air-Sea Battle Concept designed to counter what the Pentagon calls China’s anti-access and area denial weapons—precision guided missiles, submarines, anti-satellite weapons, and other special warfighting capabilities designed to prevent the U.S. military from defending allies or keeping sea lanes open in the region.

    Defense officials disclosed the incident to the Free Beacon and said the Russian bomber flights appeared to be a strategic message from Moscow timed to the president’s state of the union speech.

    “They were sending a message to Washington during the state of the union speech,” one official said.

    The bomber flights also coincided with growing tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands. A Chinese warship recently increased tensions between Beijing and Tokyo by using targeting radar against a Japanese warship.

    The U.S. military has said it would defend Japan in any military confrontation with China over the Senkakus. The bomber flights appear to signal Russian support for China in the dispute.

    Meanwhile, Obama on Wednesday telephoned Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reiterate U.S. nuclear assurances to its ally following North Korea’s third detonation of an underground nuclear device.

    A White House statement said the president told Abe, who visits Washington next week, that the United States “remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan, including the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.”

    “It shows that the Russians, like the Chinese, are not just going to sit idly by and watch the United States ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalance’ its forces toward Asia,” said former State Department security official Mark Groombridge.

    “One could argue the Russians were poking a bit of fun at the Obama Administration, seeing how they flew these long-range bombers close to Guam on the same day as the state of the union address,” he said.

    “But the broader implications are more profound,” said Groombridge, now with the private strategic intelligence firm LIGNET. “The Russians are clearly sending a signal that they consider the Pacific an area of vital national strategic interest and that they still have at least some power projection capabilities to counterbalance against any possible increase in U.S. military assets in the region.”

    Airspace violations by Russian Su-27 jets triggered intercepts by Japanese fighters near Japan’s Hokkaido Island last week. The Feb. 7. incident prompted protests from Tokyo and took place near disputed territory claimed by both countries since the end of World War II.

    The Russian air incursion around Guam was the third threatening strategic bomber incident since June. On July 4th, two Bear H’s operated at the closest point to the United States that a Russian bomber has flown since the Soviet Union routinely conducted such flights.

    The July bomber flights near California followed an earlier incident in June when two Bear H’s ran up against the air defense zone near Alaska as part of large-scale strategic exercises that Moscow said involved simulated attacks on U.S. missile defense bases. The Pentagon operates missile defense bases in Alaska and California.

    Those flights triggered the scrambling of U.S. and Canadian interceptor jets as well.

    The bomber flights near Alaska violated a provision of the 2010 New START arms treaty that requires advance notification of exercises involving strategic nuclear bombers.


    Military spokesmen sought to play down the June and July incidents as non-threatening, apparently reflecting the Obama administration’s conciliatory “reset” policy toward Russia that seeks better relations by tamping down criticism of Moscow, despite growing anti-U.S. sentiments and policies from the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey questioned his Russian counterpart, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, during a meeting at the Pentagon July 12th.

    The latest Russian nuclear saber rattling through bomber flights comes as the Obama administration is planning a new round of strategic arms reduction talks with Russia. State Department arms official Rose Gottemoeller was recently in Moscow for arms discussions.

    The president was expected to announce plans to cut U.S. nuclear forces by an additional one-third in a new round of arms reduction efforts with Moscow.

    However, the president did not announce the plans and said only during his state of the union speech that he plans further arms cuts.

    “Building Guam as a strategic hub has played a critical role in balancing U.S. security interests in responding to and cooperating with China as well as in shaping China’s perceptions and conduct,” wrote Government Accountability Office analyst Shirley A. Kan in a September 2012 report.

    “Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties started by Ryan Ruck View original post
    Comments 72 Comments
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      New Bear bomber flights



      Two Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out a fourth high-profile training flight last week, flying near South Korea, where large-scale war games are under way, and near Japan and the U.S. military bases on Okinawa.


      It was the fourth time since June 2012 that Russian bombers have run up against U.S. and allied air defense zones in the Pacific.


      Defense officials told Inside the Ring that two Tu-95 Bear-H nuclear-capable bombers, Russia's main nuclear cruise-missile delivery vehicle, were detected Friday in the Pacific Command theater of operations coming from a base in Russia's Far East.


      A Japanese Embassy spokesman confirmed that two Tu-95s were intercepted by Japanese fighter jets on March 15. He did not elaborate.


      Pacific Command spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. DeDe Halfhill declined to provide details of the flights or say whether any U.S. interceptor jets were sent aloft to follow the bombers. She instead referred questions to the Russian, Japanese and South Korean governments, even though she acknowledged that the incident took place within the command's area of responsibility.


      It could not be learned whether South Korean interceptor jets were scrambled to trail the bombers.


      The latest Russian strategic bomber flights near Okinawa, where U.S. Marines are deployed, followed a Feb. 12 incursion around Guam, July 4 bomber flights near the California coast, and practice bomber sorties near Alaska in June.


      The failure of the Pacific Command to discuss the incident appears to be part of a new Pentagon policy of refusing to answer reporters' questions about troubling developments that might undermine the Obama administration's conciliatory policies toward both Russia and China. For example, Friday's flights took place just over a month after two other Tu-95s flew around the U.S. Pacific island of Guam — a major hub for the U.S. military buildup in the region.


      Earlier, a Pentagon spokeswoman referred a reporter to China's communist government when asked about the country's expanding nuclear forces, despite the Pentagon having a legal requirement to provide public information about those forces in its annual report to Congress on the Chinese military.


      The Feb. 12 bomber flights were the first time the Russians had conducted such long-range strategic operations near Guam in more than 20 years. Yet, a military official described the bomber incursions as "routine."


      Guam was used by two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers for flights over South Korea on March 8 and March 15 as part of ongoing military exercises that Pentagon officials said demonstrated U.S. "extended deterrence" nuclear protection, in the face of growing nuclear threats from North Korea.


      The earlier Russian bomber incident near California was also dismissed by military spokesmen as routine after two Bear H bombers on July 4 flew the closest to the U.S. West Coast that any Russian bomber had flown since the days of the Soviet Union.


      Obama hit on missile defense

      A senior member of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday wrote to President Obama, expressing concerns about the administration's concessions to Russia on missile defense and revealing Moscow's violations of current arms treaties.


      "I am deeply concerned about your sudden shift in the U.S. missile defense strategy," Rep. Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican and chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, stated in his letter to the president.


      Mr. Rogers said the Pentagon's decision to cancel deployment in Europe of the SM-3 IIB advanced missile-defense interceptor, which was opposed by Moscow, sends a signal of U.S. weakness.


      The cancellation, announced Friday, is "unambiguously another concession" to the Russians on missile defense, similar to the 2009 decision to abandon deployment in Europe of more powerful ground-based interceptors that Russia also opposed.


      Mr. Rogers said the decision on the SM-3 IIB came weeks before the administration's defense budget submission to Congress and also prior to the upcoming visit to Moscow by National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon, who is said to be seeking to gauge Moscow's willingness to engage in a new round of strategic arms cuts.


      "Russia has been violently opposed to our missile defenses, specifically the Phase IV development of the SM-3 block IIB missile, almost since you announced it," Mr. Rogers said in his letter.


      "Indeed, Russia's Chief of its General Staff Col. Gen. [Nikolai] Makarov, threatened to attack U.S. missile defenses in Europe. And now, your administration has terminated the SM-3 IIB, just as the Russians demanded."


      Mr. Rogers added that new arms talks are being sought despite "ongoing and significant concerns about Russian arms control compliance." He did not elaborate. Mr. Rogers said he believes presidential advisers are urging Mr. Obama to announce a new push for deeper strategic nuclear cuts on the upcoming fourth anniversary of his April 5, 2009, speech in the Czech Republic capital Prague where he called for eliminating all nuclear weapons.


      McMaster on war



      Army Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a combat veteran of two Iraq wars and current commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, provided some candid assessments of U.S. military doctrine during a speech in Washington on Wednesday.


      Gen. McMaster is the closest thing in the Army to a policy rock star and is regarded as an outspoken and innovative strategic thinker.


      Some of the comments by the two-star general during a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies sounded indirectly critical of past U.S. military efforts in Iraq and current efforts in Afghanistan.


      Gen. McMaster criticized what he termed the "raiding mentality" among some military strategists who argue that bombing or special operations forces will win wars fast and cheap, calling it "a fundamental unrealistic expectation."


      Another "wrong lesson" of the past 12 years of warfare is the exaggerated benefit of using proxy military or security forces, Gen. McMaster said.


      In Iraq, the U.S. military built up Iraqi police and security forces and later found that the Iraqis were "largely captured by Shia Islamist militias that were to some degree under the direction of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran," Gen. McMaster said.


      Some U.S.-trained Iraqis were involved in ethnic-cleansing campaigns against opponents, while other Iraqi forces defected and joined al Qaeda, he said. In Afghanistan, some U.S.-trained Afghan security forces were taken over by local criminal networks, Gen. McMaster said.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      well, there is INDEED some background shenanigans going on right now - Bill Gertz:

      Russian Bomber Roulette

      Russian strategic bomber conducts practice strikes on U.S. missile defenses in Asia
      Russia Tu-22M Backfire bomber / Wikipedia



      BY: Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz

      A Russian bomber recently carried out simulated cruise missile attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Asia, raising new questions about Moscow’s goal in future U.S.-Russian defense talks.


      According to U.S. officials, a Russian Tu-22M Backfire bomber on Feb. 26 simulated firing air-launched cruise missiles at an Aegis ship deployed near Japan as part of U.S. missile defenses.


      A second mock attack was conducted Feb. 27 against a ground-based missile defense site in Japan that officials did not identify further.
      The Pentagon operates an X-band missile defense radar on the northern tip of Japan that is designed to monitor North Korean missile launches and transmit the data to missile-firing ships.


      The bomber targeting comes as Russia is building up forces in the Pacific by modernizing submarines and building a spy ship specifically for intelligence-gathering against U.S. missile defenses.


      Officials said it was not clear why the Russians conducted the practice strikes. However, the simulations may indicate Moscow has targeted its offensive ballistic missiles on Japan or U.S. military bases in the region.


      U.S. missile defenses in Asia currently are at a heightened alert status as a result of tensions with North Korea. The communist state has threatened to conduct nuclear missile attacks on the United States and South Korea.


      The incidents were detected by U.S. intelligence-gathering systems in the region and reported recently inside the Pentagon.


      “As a matter of policy we do not comment on matters of intelligence,” Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson said when asked about the Backfire bomber incident.


      The Tu-22 bomber can carry up to three air-launched Kh-22 land attack cruise missiles. The bomber has a range of about 2,500 miles.


      Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said the Backfire targeting is troubling.


      “Russia continues to conduct aggressive offensive missile training in the Pacific against U.S. and Allied Forces,” McInerney said.


      “We should understand that they look at ‘reset’ differently than we do,” said the retired three-star general, who once commanded forces in Alaska. “They look at it as regaining their previous USSR position as a superpower while this administration is moving towards unilateral disarmament.”


      Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy during the George W. Bush administration, said it is difficult to assess why the Russians carried out the simulated strikes.
      Edelman said practice runs may be “a demonstration of continued Russia opposition to and hyping of their animosity toward U.S. missile defense deployments globally.”
      “In the wake of the administration’s ‘restructuring’’—read cancelation—of the SM-3 Block IIB which was supposedly the most neuralgic part for Moscow of the administration’s [European Phased Adaptive Approach], the Russians are signaling that they are pocketing that concession and upping the ante in their opposition to missile defense—not just in Europe, but globally,” Edelman told the Free Beacon in an email.


      The Russians in the past have said their opposition to missile defense was not limited to Europe but included global missile defense deployments, he said. “This is just a symbol of how much that remains the case.”


      The latest bomber encounter in Asia comes weeks before White House National Security adviser Thomas Donilon will visit Moscow in an effort to restart stalled missile defense talks with the Russians, who for the past four years have demanded legal restrictions on U.S. missile defenses in Europe.


      Donilon is expected to seek a Russian return to the negotiating table after the Pentagon announced last month it is scrapping plans for a high-powered variant of the Navy’s SM-3 missile interceptor called the Block IIB. The cancellation was widely viewed as a concession to Russia. The Russians are opposed to placing interceptors in Europe and claim the missile will be used against Russian offensive missiles.


      The bomber targeting of U.S. missile defenses also followed stepped up Russian bomber activities targeting other U.S. missile defense sites, including ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California. A large-scale Russian military exercise in the Arctic in June included flights by two Tu-95 Bear bombers that Russian military officials said had simulated attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska.


      Another pair of Tu-95s flew on July 4 the closest to the California coast that a Russian bomber had flown since the days of the Soviet Union, when strategic bomber flights near U.S. coasts were a routine feature of the Cold War.


      Russian targeting of missile defenses also comes as Moscow’s GRU military intelligence announced April 1 that it would deploy a new reconnaissance ship in the Pacific to spy on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska and Hawaii.


      The ship Yuri Ivanov will begin service next year, military sources told the state-run Izvestia news outlet.


      One source said the main mission of the ship would be to monitor U.S. missile defense components in Alaska and Hawaii. The ship will be outfitted with electronic sensors that allow detection, interception, and analysis of signals from radar, weapons systems, and communications.


      Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a telephone call March 25 that Moscow wanted to resume missile defense talks.


      Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement that Shoygu “expressed his desire to reconvene missile defense discussions with the U.S. at the deputy minister level.”


      “Secretary Hagel agreed and reiterated that this is an important part of U.S.-Russian relations,” Little said. “He assured Minister Shoygu that these discussions would continue and be carried forward by under secretary of defense for policy Dr. Jim Miller.”


      Russian accounts of the conversation said the Russians plan to discuss the U.S. and NATO missile defense for Europe.


      “We are very interested in how the situation surrounding the European missile-defense will develop, and our minister proposed reconvening regular consultations on this matter at deputy defense minister level: Anatoly Antonov from the Russian side and James Miller from the American side,” Shoygu’s deputy Anatoly Antonov said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.


      U.S. plans for missile defenses in Europe include a phased approach that will employ a combination of ships and ground-based missile defenses designed mainly to counter attacks from Iranian missiles.


      Hagel announced last month that the Pentagon would give up plans for the SM-3 IIB and instead increase the number of ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska from 30 to 44 over the next several years.


      Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement after that announcement saying the United States continues to bolster global missile defenses, and therefore there is a need to work out “reliably legally binding guarantees” that missile defenses in Europe will not be targeted at Russian missiles.


      Moscow has said the European defenses pose a threat to Russian security and late last year a Russian general threatened preemptive attacks on U.S. missile defense sites in any future crisis.


      One venue for the missile defense talks could be the international conference on European security set to begin May 23 in Moscow, when Hagel could attend, according a Russian official quoted in press reports.


      According to a Russian source quoted by Izvestya, the Russian Navy intelligence directorate urgently needs the spy ship because its surveillance vessels are old and outdated and ships can get closer to intelligence targets than aircraft. Ships also can be stationed for several days before being discovered.


      “We now have practically no specialist reconnaissance ships left,” the source said. “Those that we have were built in the 1970s and 1980s and are in poor condition. The Yuri Ivanov is a ship with a fundamentally new, highly productive reconnaissance complex.”


      The Ivanov is classified as a special communications ship 95 meters long with a displacement of 4,000 tons. It will be deployed with Russia’s Pacific fleet.


      Moscow also announced Apr. 1 that it would modernize three Oscar II diesel powered, nuclear cruise missile submarines as part of a modernization of the Russian Pacific Fleet.


      The submarines were built for attacking aircraft carrier strike groups and their weaponry included 24 SS-N-19 missiles and 28 torpedo tube launched missiles and torpedoes. A Russian military news outlet reported that the Oscar II modernization would include adding supersonic SS-N-26 anti-ship cruise missiles.


      Former chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky told a conference earlier this week in Moscow that the United States has not abandoned strategic plans for preventive nuclear strikes on both Russia and China. Baluyevsky said U.S. missile defenses are designed to prevent attacks after a U.S. first-strike nuclear attack, Interfax AVN reported April 2.


      Former Russian Strategic Rocket Forces commander Col. Gen. Victor Yesin at the same conference said Russian offensive missiles would be able to overcome any U.S. missile defense system.


      Yesin said any attempts to negotiate a new treaty with the United States like the now-abandoned 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty will fail.


      “Whether we like it or not, the Americans will build their missile defense,” Yesin said. “We will be unable to make them stop. Any attempt to force the Americans to abandon or at least sign a new missile defense treaty in the format of 1972 is a lost cause; that will never happen.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Bears Buzz Alaska Again

      Russian military again flies strategic bombers near Alaska

      U.S. F-22 / AP

      BY: Bill Gertz


      Russian strategic bombers conducted flights within the U.S. defense zone close to northern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands last week in Moscow’s latest incident of nuclear saber rattling against the United States, according to defense and military officials.

      Two Bear H nuclear-capable bombers were detected flying into the military’s Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) near the Aleutians, where a strategic missile defense radar is located, and Alaska’s North Slope region by the Arctic and Chukchi Seas on April 28 and 29, military officials told the Washington Free Beacon.

      Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis, a spokesman with the U.S. Northern Command, confirmed the fighter intercept of the latest bomber incursion but declined to provide details.

      “Two U.S. F-22′s from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, were launched and visually identified Russian aircraft on the night of April 28, as the Russian Air Force flew standard out of area flights near Alaska,” Lewis said.

      The bombers did not enter U.S. airspace, he said.

      However, the Alaska ADIZ is a formal national security zone used by the military to monitor both civilian and military aircraft. The dispatch of F-22s is an indication the bomber flights posed a potential threat to U.S. territory.

      It was the fifth incident of Russian strategic bombers flying against the United States since June, when Bear bombers were intercepted near Alaska during a large-scale Russian strategic nuclear exercise that Russian military officials said involved practice strikes against U.S. missile defense sites in Alaska.

      Less than a month later, on July 4, two more Bears flew the closest to the northern California coast that Russian aircraft have flown since the days of the Soviet Union.
      Then in February two Bears circled Guam, a key U.S. military hub in the Pacific.

      Additionally, Backfire strategic bombers flew simulated strikes against U.S. missile defenses and bases in Japan last month.

      U.S. officials say the stepped-up Russian bomber flights are part of Moscow’s attempt to influence U.S. missile defense policies. Russia, along with China, for years opposed U.S. missile defense programs through propaganda and influence operations. Both states want the defenses curtailed to protect their strategic offensive missiles, which are currently being expanded.

      The Pentagon in March announced it was adding 14 new long-range missile interceptors to the 30 ground-based interceptors based at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in announcing the added interceptors, also said the Pentagon is canceling an advanced Navy SM-3 interceptor that was to be deployed in Europe and would be capable of shooting down long-range missiles from Iran.

      The latest bomber incursion near Alaska also followed the April 14 visit to Moscow by National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, who presented a letter from President Barack Obama to the Russians on missile defenses. Details of the letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin remain secret but Russian officials described it as containing a number of proposals “promoting dialogue and cooperations.”

      Obama was overheard on an open microphone in March 2012 telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” in dealing with Russia on missile defenses, an indication he is preparing to make further concessions limiting U.S. missile defenses in future talks.

      Administration officials have said publicly there are no plans to limit U.S. missile defenses in the talks.

      Moscow is demanding legally binding guarantees that U.S. missile defenses in Europe will not be used to target Russian offensive ballistic missiles.

      U.S. officials said Obama appears to be preparing to make concessions to the Russians on missile defenses as a way to seek a new round of strategic arms cuts with Moscow. He is set to visit Russia in September when arms control is expected to be a major topic of discussion.

      Northern Command did not announce the April 28 bomber incident and declined to release details on the latest flights as part of the Obama administration’s conciliatory policy of seeking to “reset” ties with Russia.

      However, two days after the incident the command issued a press release highlighting its cooperation with the Russian military announcing plans for a joint U.S.-Russian flight exercise designed to counter hijacked aircraft.

      The statement said Russian air force officials on April 27 completed talks with Northern Command officials at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., on the next exercise dubbed Vigilant Eagle 2013.

      The exercise will be held in August in Anchorage and at Anadyr, home of a major strategic bomber base in the Russian Far East where the string of bomber flights are believed by U.S. officials to have been launched.

      The exercise “will focus on national procedures for monitoring the situation and the cooperative hand-off of a hijacked aircraft from one nation to the other while exchanging air tracking information.”

      The exercise series is “an extraordinary and historic opportunity for NORAD and the Russian Federation to coordinate on the response to a mutually acknowledged hijacking threat,” said Joe Bonnet, director of joint training and exercises for NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. “From a participant’s perspective, it is more than a military exercise; it is creating lasting bonds and partnerships extremely valuable for the security of our nations.”

      The last exercise in August 2012 was a “computer-assisted” simulation. The next exercise will involve “live-fly” of aircraft.

      “This year’s exercise will continue building and strengthening the cooperation and partnership established between the two countries,” the statement said.

      Some defense officials and military analysts are questioning why the command would seek to cooperate with the Russians at a time when Moscow is flying threatening bomber missions against the United States.

      While the exact nature of the training mission flown by the Bear Hs during the April 28 flight is not known, one official said it was likely targeting practice against the Cobra Dane radar located on Shemya Island in the far western Aleutians. The North Slope flight was probably designed to signal that Russia is preparing to strike the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the official said.

      Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, a former Alaska Air Command commander, said: “The Russians continue to play the administration like a fiddle, sending signals that they still have a strategic air force and can project power while the U.S. continues to ground alert squadrons and unilateral disarms.”

      “Is this the administration’s idea of ‘reset relations’ with Russia?” he asked.

      Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering, a former director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), told the Free Beacon last month after the Russian bomber practice against Asian missile defenses that the flights are a clear sign Moscow has no interest in cooperating with the United States on missile defenses.

      “I engaged with the Russians regularly as MDA director to propose cooperation on missile defense,” Obering said. “After I retired, I participated in a group led by [former National Security Adviser] Steve Hadley which proposed an architecture which would allow for cooperation without impinging on each nation’s sovereignty and would prevent the disclosure of any sensitive technology or information. These efforts were met with Russian intransigence.”

      The Russian opposition and bomber flights mean Moscow will not cooperate with the United States in any meaningful way, Obering said.

      As a result, he said, the United States should make no concessions to the Russians and instead should pursue U.S. national security interests in defending American territory and allies.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      Japan Scrambles Jets Following Russian Airspace Breach

      August 23, 2013

      Japan scrambled fighter jets Thursday after Russian bombers breached Japanese airspace, Agence France-Presse reported.
      The two [Russian] Tu-95 planes breached airspace near the isle of Okinoshima off Fukuoka in southern Japan for nearly two minutes shortly after midday, a defense ministry spokesman said.

      “A total of four F-2 planes from the Air Self-Defence Force scrambled against them,” the official said.

      The Japanese foreign ministry said it filed a formal protest with the Russian embassy in Tokyo over the violation and urged it to investigate.

      Russian bombers also briefly breached Japanese airspace in February.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Russia is testing everyone right now, Ryan. You posted that two days ago. Last night they started in on Syria here in DC. Tomorrow we might be seeing Russian Bear bombers over our cities.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      Russian Bombers Fly Within 50 Miles of California Coast

      U.S. F-22, F-15 jets intercept four Bear H bombers near Alaska, Northern California

      June 11, 2014
      By Bill Gertz

      Four Russian strategic bombers triggered U.S. air defense systems while conducting practice bombing runs near Alaska this week, with two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft coming within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) confirmed Wednesday.

      “The last time we saw anything similar was two years ago on the Fourth of July,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Norad spokesman, told the Free Beacon.

      Davis said the latest Bear H incursions began Monday around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time when radar detected the four turbo-prop powered bombers approaching the U.S. air defense zone near the far western Aleutian Islands.

      Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled and intercepted the bombers over the Aleutians.

      After tracking the bombers as they flew eastward, two of the four Bears turned around and headed west toward the Russian Far East. The bombers are believed to be based at the Russian strategic base near Anadyr, Russia.

      The remaining two nuclear-capable bombers then flew southeast and around 9:30 pm entered the U.S. northern air defense zone off the coast of Northern California.

      Two U.S. F-15 jets were deployed and intercepted the bombers as they eventually flew within 50 miles of the coast before turning around and heading west.

      A defense official said the four bombers also were supported by two IL-78 aerial refueling tankers that were used for mid-air refueling during the operation this week.

      The Tu-95 is a long-range strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles. Other versions are equipped with intelligence-gathering sensors and electronic warfare gear. It has a range of around 9,400 miles without refueling.

      Davis said the aircraft “acted professionally” and the bombers appeared to be conducting a training mission.

      “They typically do long range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time,” he said. “We assess this was part of training. And they did not enter territorial airspace.”

      The bomber incursion is the latest Russian nuclear saber-rattling amid stepped up tensions over Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

      Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the Russian flights “intentional provocations.”

      “Putin is doing this specifically to try to taunt the U.S. and exercise, at least in the reported world, some sort of saber-rattling, muscle-flexing kind of nonsense,” Conaway said in an interview. “Truth of the matter is we would have squashed either one of those [bombers] like baby seals.”

      “It’s a provocation and it’s unnecessary. But it fits in with [Putin’s] macho kind of saber-rattling,” he said, adding that he expects Russia will carry out more of these kinds of incidents in the future.

      Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska commander for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said he does not remember a case of Russian strategic bombers coming that close to the U.S. coast.

      “Again we see the Obama administration through their covert—but overt to Mr. Putin—unilateral disarmament, inviting adventurism by the Russians,” McInerney said in an email.

      At the height of the Cold War I do not remember them getting this close. Mr. Putin had to approve this mission and he is just showing his personal contempt for President Obama right after meeting him in Normandy less than a week ago,” McInerney said.

      McInerney said no American president has been treated with such disrespect in U.S. history.

      “A sad day indeed and at the same time Mosul and Tikrit [Iraq] fall to radical Islamists after the Obama administration’s failed Iraq policy,” he added. “He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.”

      The Alaska-California bombers flight also came a month after a Russian Su-27 interceptor jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan.

      In that incident on April 23, the Su-27 jet flew close to the RC-135, turned to reveal its air-to-air missiles to the crew, and then flew dangerously close to within 100 feet of the cockpit in a maneuver military officials called reckless.

      Davis said in the past 10 years, 50 Bear H bombers were intercepted near U.S. air defense zone, although he acknowledged that Monday’s flight near California was unusual.

      In April, a telephone conversation between two Russian ambassadors was posted on YouTube and appeared to show the diplomats joking about the Ukraine crisis and discussing the possible incursions in the United States and Eastern Europe.

      The leaked conversation between Igor Nilokaevich Chubarov and Sergey Viktorovich Bakharev, Russian ambassadors to the African nations Eritrea and Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively, includes references to post-Crimea Russian imperialism to include Eastern Europe and “Californialand” and “Miamiland.”

      Russian Bear H flights elsewhere have increased in recent years.

      In February 2013, two of the bombers were intercepted as they circled the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, in a rare long-range incursion.

      Two Bear Hs also were intercepted near Alaska on April 28, 2013.

      A Russian Bear H incursion in Asia took place in in July 2013 when two Tu-95s were intercepted by Japanese and South Korean jets near the Korean peninsula and Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island.

      The July 4, 2012 bomber flights near the West Coast were the first time since the Cold War that Russian jets has traveled so close to the U.S. coastline.

      That action followed an earlier intrusion by Tu-95s near Alaska that were part of large-scale strategic nuclear exercises by the Russians aimed at practicing strikes on enemy air defenses.

      Russia has stepped up provocative nuclear war games in recent years as part of propaganda efforts to display Moscow’s dislike of U.S. missile defenses in Europe.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      I was walking in this morning thinking, "You know, the Russians have quieted down lately. Obama is doing a fine job of being a non-violent Leftists who is all for peace and pretending nothing is happening...."

      In fact, I was disappointed because the Russians quieted down, not because I want a war with them, rather because I figured they backed off because they got what they want in Ukraine.

      Apparently I've been wrong about the Russians - I'm still right about Sissy Obama.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Triggered Air Defense....

      So "Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled and intercepted the bombers over the Aleutians."

      took 'em long enough. California to Aleutians.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      USAF jets scrambled TWICE as nuclear-capable Russian bombers go on practise run off Alaska... then fly within 50 miles of Californian coast

      • Air defense systems triggered twice by Tu-95 Bear H aircraft
      • Incursions began on Monday at around 4.30pm Pacific time
      • F-22 jets were scrambled near the far western Aleutian Islands
      • Two of the four aircraft turned back, but the other two carried on
      • Then, 50 miles off California, two U.S. F-15 jets were deployed


      By Leon Watson


      Published: 04:20 EST, 12 June 2014 | Updated: 07:18 EST, 12 June 2014

      Fighter jets had to be scrambled twice after Russian bombers practised off the coast of Alaska and then came within 50 miles of California, it emerged today.


      The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed U.S. air defense systems were triggered twice by nuclear-capable Tu-95 Bear H aircraft last week.


      A spokesman said incursions began on Monday at around 4.30pm Pacific time when radar detected four bombers approaching the U.S. air defense zone near the far western Aleutian Islands.





      +3

      In this U.S. Navy stock picture, a F-18 Hornet strike fighter intercepts a Russian Tu-95 Bear long rang bomber




      Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled and intercepted the turbo-prop powered bombers over the Aleutians.


      Two of the Bears, believed to be based at the Russian strategic base near Anadyr, Russia, turned around and headed west toward the Russian Far East


      The remaining two bombers then flew south-east. At around 9.30pm they entered the U.S. northern air defense zone off the coast of Northern California.


      The USAF air defense systems were trigged for a second time and two U.S. F-15 jets were deployed. They intercepted the bombers before they turned around and headed west.


      Norad spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told the Washington Free Beacon: 'The last time we saw anything similar was two years ago on the Fourth of July.'


      A defense official said the four bombers also were supported by two IL-78 aerial refueling tankers that were used for mid-air refueling during the operation this week.







      A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft had to intercept two Tu-95 Bear H aircraft last week




      The Tu-95 is a long-range strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles.


      Other versions are equipped with intelligence-gathering sensors and electronic warfare gear. It has a range of around 9,400 miles without refueling.


      Davis said the aircraft 'acted professionally' and the bombers appeared to be conducting a training mission.


      'They typically do long range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time,' he said. 'We assess this was part of training. And they did not enter territorial airspace.'






      A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft executing a supersonic flyby




      The bomber incursion is the latest Russian nuclear saber-rattling amid stepped up tensions over Moscow's military annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.


      Texas Republican Mike Conaway, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the Russian flights 'intentional provocations',
      the Washington Free Beacon reported.


      'Putin is doing this specifically to try to taunt the U.S. and exercise, at least in the reported world, some sort of saber-rattling, muscle-flexing kind of nonsense. Truth of the matter is we would have squashed either one of those [bombers] like baby seals.'


      'It's a provocation and it's unnecessary. But it fits in with [Putin's] macho kind of saber-rattling,' he said, adding that he expects Russia will carry out more of these kinds of incidents in the future.


      The Tu-95 Bear is the fastest propeller-driven airplane ever built. It was originally designed to carry two nuclear bombs to targets in the continental U.S.


      Later versions carried cruise missiles for long-range stand-off missions. The Bear has also been used for reconnaissance, especially by the Soviet/Russian Navy which used the aircraft to locate U.S. aircraft carrier task forces.


      Last month, in a maneuver straight out of the Cold War, a Russian fighter jet purposely flew 100-feet in front of the nose of an American spy plane in April, US officials confirmed on Monday.


      The fly-by over the Sea of Okhotsk between Russia and Japan was described by one US official as 'straight out of a movie'.


      The same U.S. official said the Russian jet put the lives of the US Air Force RC-135U in danger and called it 'one of the most dangerous close passes in decades.'


      It is the latest source of concern for U.S. officials since a heightening of U.S.-Russian tensions following Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.


      In mid-April a Russian Su-24 fighter made low-level passes over a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea.


      An RC-135U is a highly specialized reconnaissance plane known as 'Combat Sent.'


      There are only two such planes in the U.S. Air Force; both are assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.


      Their crews are from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron and the 97th Intelligence Squadron of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency.


      The 'Combat Sent' aircraft are equipped with communications gear designed to locate and identify foreign military radar signals on land, at sea and in the air.


      The crew is composed of two pilots, one navigator, two airborne systems engineers, at least 10 electronic warfare officers and six or more technical and other specialists.



      Read more:
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      Russian Strategic Bombers Conduct More Than 16 Incursions of U.S. Air Defense Zones

      August 7, 2014
      By Bill Gertz

      Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.

      The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine.

      Also, during one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.

      “Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

      Smith called the Russian flights “a spike in activity” but sought to play down the threat, stating the flights were assessed as routine training missions and exercises.

      The bomber flights took place mainly along the Alaskan air defense identification zone that covers the Aleutian Islands and the continental part of the state, and one incursion involved entry into Canada’s air defense zone, Smith said.

      The Russian strategic aircraft included a mix of Tu-95 Bear H heavy bombers and Tu-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance aircraft, she said, adding that one IL-20 intelligence collection aircraft was detected during the flight incursions over the past week to 10 days.

      The bomber flights are the latest case of nuclear saber rattling by the Russians.

      However, other defense officials said the large number of aerial incursions is very unusual and harkens back to the Cold War, when Soviet bombers frequently sought to trigger air defenses along the periphery of U.S. territory as preparation for a nuclear conflict.

      Moscow, under strongman President Vladimir Putin, is engaged in a major buildup of its strategic nuclear forces. The modernization includes new missiles of several ranges, new strategic missile submarines, and new long-range bombers.

      As for its long-range aviation flights near U.S. coasts, Russia has been sharply increasing the activities, especially in the Pacific Northwest near Alaska, Canada, and the West Coast.

      The Washington Free Beacon first reported that two Bear bombers flew within 50 miles of the California coast on June 9—the closest the Russians have flown their nuclear-capable bombers since the days of the Cold War. A U.S. F-15 intercepted the bombers.

      A defense official disagreed with the spokeswoman on the increased bomber forays. Russian strategic nuclear forces appear to be “trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems,” said an official familiar with reports of the incursions.

      “These are not just training missions,” the official added.

      Northern Command and NORAD in the past frequently sought to dismiss the Russian bomber incursions as non-threatening as part of the Obama administration’s conciliatory “reset” policy of seeking closer ties with Moscow.

      The Pentagon and other commands, however, have toughened rhetoric toward Russia and its activities after the Russian military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in June.

      Relations between Washington and Moscow have soured. The State Department last month accused Moscow of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty by developing a new cruise missile.

      Moscow dismissed the charges as untrue.

      Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, expressed concerns about the increase in Russian strategic nuclear activities during a speech in Washington June 18.

      Haney said Russian nuclear activities coincided with recent tensions over Ukraine and included the test launch of six air-launched cruise missiles in a show of force.

      A Russian Defense Ministry statement on the cruise missile test launches said a Tu-95 bomber “is capable of destroying the critical stationary assets of an enemy with cruise missiles, in daytime and nighttime, in any weather and in any part of the globe.”

      Moscow also conducted several large-scale nuclear war games in May, Haney said.

      “Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea, and even our West Coast,” Haney said at a defense industry breakfast.

      “Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area,” he said.

      Russia’s recent Cold War-level aerial encounters over the Pacific near Alaska followed an earlier U.S.-Russian aerial duel in Europe.

      U.S. officials confirmed that an RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence gathering aircraft was forced into violating Swedish airspace by a Russian fighter jet July 18. The U.S. jet was seeking to evade the Russian interceptor jet at the time.

      That encounter took place a day after Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      They are getting ready to fight us. All that needs to be said about this is, PREPARE!
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Geez....


      Shocking: Russian Bombers Are Circling The Skies Above U.S., Ready To Strike At Moment’s Notice

      Major Beth Smith, spokeswoman for NORAD, commented about the...


      Share Tweet Email


      F. Peter BrownAugust 8, 2014



      Russian strategic bombers penetrated US airspace 16 times in the last 10 days, according to US defense officials. The bombers penetrated 16 times into northwestern US air defense identification zones. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned about the heightened possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

      US jets scrambled in response to the Russian bombers several times.

      Major Beth Smith, spokeswoman for NORAD, commented about the incursions, saying, ” Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones.”


      Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon, who broke the story, wrote that the bomber flights are the “latest case of nuclear saber rattling by the Russians.”


      Russia also violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 signed by Reagan and Gorbachev by testing a nuclear cruise missile.


      President Barack Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for saying that Russia was America’s biggest strategic threat in the 2012 election:

      A few months ago, when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not al Qaeda; you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
      Admiral Cecil Haney, head of US Strategic Command, has spoken about the Russian nuclear threat, saying that Russia conducted several large nuclear war games in May.
      He said this recently at a defense industry breakfast:

      Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea, and even our West Coast.
      He went on to say:

      Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area.
      How concerned should the world be about Russia? Is Russia now a significant threat to American interests? Or was Hillary Clinton’s Russian “reset” successful?


      Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/nuc...uJIe6o0eavE.99
    1. AGEUSAF's Avatar
      AGEUSAF -
      Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
      They are getting ready to fight us. All that needs to be said about this is, PREPARE!

      Interesting to note that I have heard that some of our more exceptional aircraft/platforms have been making night time trips assumed to that said hot spot. I think even some of the stuff might have been spotted during the day coming back home in a group. Just to show those that should know that we have not been sitting on our technological in the black hands since the late 80's.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      Howdy AGEUSAF! Haven't seen you around in a while!

    1. AGEUSAF's Avatar
      AGEUSAF -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
      Howdy AGEUSAF! Haven't seen you around in a while!

      Hey Ryan and All, Yea summer in Minnesota is short and last winter was long so outside and outside projects tend to take over free time until next freeze in. I have been lurking, I am probably the king of lurkers on a few forums ....just scan, scan, scan and move looking for slip ups or oportunity to mention something :-)
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      Haha! Completely understandable!
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Have you caught us slipping up yet? (Cuz, I can name a few times) lol
    1. AGEUSAF's Avatar
      AGEUSAF -
      Oh I'm sure I have, probably had more go right over my head.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      Russian Strategic Bombers Near Canada Practice Cruise Missile Strikes on US

      September 8, 2014
      By Bill Gertz

      Two Russian strategic bombers conducted practice cruise missile attacks on the United States during a training mission last week that defense officials say appeared timed to the NATO summit in Wales.

      The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying a route across the northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada’s northeast.

      Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined “launch box”—an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets, said defense officials familiar with intelligence reports.

      Disclosure of the nuclear bombing practice comes as a Russian general last week called for Moscow to change its doctrine to include preemptive nuclear strikes on the United States and NATO.

      Gen. Yuri Yakubov, a senior Defense Ministry official, was quoted by the state-run Interfax news agency as saying that Russia’s 2010 military doctrine should be revised to identify the United States and the NATO alliance as enemies, and clearly outline the conditions for a preemptive nuclear strike against them.

      Yakubov said among other needed doctrinal changes, “it is necessary to hash out the conditions under which Russia could carry out a preemptive strike with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces”—Moscow’s nuclear forces.

      The practice bombing runs are the latest in a series of incidents involving threatening Russian bomber flights near the United States. Analysts say the bomber flights are nuclear saber-rattling by Moscow as a result of heightened tensions over the crisis in Ukraine.

      A spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command declined to comment on the bomber flights in the North Atlantic.

      No U.S. or Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the Bear-H bombers since the aircraft stayed outside the North American Air Defense Identification Zone.

      Additional details of the incident that took place over the Labrador Sea, the stretch of the Atlantic between Greenland and Canada’s Labrador Peninsula, could not be learned.

      However, officials said it took place during the NATO summit in Wales that was held Thursday and Friday.

      The summit statement criticized “Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine [which] have fundamentally challenged our vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.”

      In response to Russia’s actions, the alliance agreed to create a new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in Eastern Europe that can deploy military forces in days.

      “If required, they will also facilitate reinforcement of allies located at NATO’s periphery for deterrence and collective defense,” the NATO statement said.

      U.S. Army troops will lead an international military exercise inside western Ukraine later this month. The exercises, known as “Rapid Trident 2014,” will begin Sept. 15 and include troops from several NATO and NATO-partner states, including Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the United States.

      Russian nuclear forces will conduct a large-scale exercise in mid-September, state news agencies reported.

      The Tu-95 is a nuclear-capable bomber that is outfitted with six AS-15 nuclear-armed cruise missiles. The missiles have a range of over 1,800 miles.

      Google Earth analysis reveals that a Tu-95 launch box located in the Labrador Sea and firing AS-15 missiles would be in range of Ottawa, New York, Washington, and Chicago, and could reach as far south as the Norfolk Naval base.

      However, air-launched cruise missiles fired from that location and outside the air defense identification zone would be unable to reach Kings Bay, Georgia—the homeport for U.S. ballistic missile submarines and a key strategic nuclear target.

      Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic policymaker and currently senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy, said Russian leaders frequently issue public nuclear threats because they regard their nuclear arsenal as the main element of their great power status.

      “Putin began what he called bomber ‘combat patrols’ in 2007 and they continue,” Schneider said. “They are designed to intimidate as well as practice nuclear bomber attacks.”

      Schneider said that since the Ukraine crisis triggered by Moscow’s military annexation of Crimea, “there have been substantial numbers of all types of standard Russian nuclear threats.”

      He said the threats have included nuclear exercises, bomber flights, and public statements, including Putin’s suggestion that NATO ‘not mess with us’ because Moscow remains a nuclear power.

      Northern Command has confirmed that Russian strategic bomber flights increased sharply over the past six months.

      Last month, at least 16 bomber incursions by the Russians took place within the northwestern U.S. and Canadian air defense zones over a period 10 days. It was the largest number of incursions since the end of the Cold War. U.S. fighter jets intercepted the Russian aircraft and followed them until they excited the defense zone.

      In June, Russian bombers flew over the arctic prompting intercepts by Canadian fighters on two occasions. The Canadian government called the stepped up bomber flights a “strategic message” from Moscow amid heightened tensions.

      And on June 20, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the test launch of six AS-15 missiles from a Bear bomber during military exercises.

      That same month, on June 9, two Russian Bear bombers flew within 50 miles of the California coast in the closest strategic bomber flights near a U.S. coast since the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

      Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which is in charge of nuclear forces, said last month that he is concerned both by large-scale Russian nuclear exercises and by increased bomber flights near the United States.

      “Clearly, we at the U.S. Strategic Command do monitor the strategic environment,” Haney said noting large-scale nuclear exercises during the Ukraine crisis.

      “Any nation state has the right to train,” he added. “It’s just interesting how that information [on nuclear forces exercises] is readily available on YouTube. Clearly, the actions associated with Ukraine are problematic.”

      On long-range strategic aircraft flights, Haney said: “I will say that the business of them coming close to the United States of America, we take very seriously.”
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Russian nuclear forces will conduct a large-scale exercise in mid-September, state news agencies reported.

      The Tu-95 is a nuclear-capable bomber that is outfitted with six AS-15 nuclear-armed cruise missiles. The missiles have a range of over 1,800 miles.
      Oh... Goodie.

      Practice before the real thing in February.



      However, air-launched cruise missiles fired from that location and outside the air defense identification zone would be unable to reach Kings Bay, Georgia—the homeport for U.S. ballistic missile submarines and a key strategic nuclear target.
      Irrelevant civilian nonsense. There are Russian Nuclear submarines current IN the Caribbean, and the North Atlantic, as well as the Pacific. If you think the bombers are the only thing that can "hit anything" you're very, very naive.