Alaska-based fighters intercept 6 Russian aircraft flying near Alaska

An F-15C Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber during a Russian exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Alaska-based fighter jets intercepted half a dozen Russian military aircraft Monday.
According to NORAD, there were two separate incidents in the international airspace near Alaska, neither of which violated U.S. air sovereignty.

In total there were four Russian bombers, as well as two fighter jets involved. One group approached from the south, while at about the same time, the remaining aircraft came from the north. Both groups were intercepted by F-22 Raptors that took off from Alaska. Captain Cameron Hillier says while such incidents have become routine in recent years, it’s rare for two to happen at the same time.

“Typically we have about six or seven per year, and that goes back to about 2007 when they re-started long-range aviation patrols,” Hillier said.

The incident took place as more than 10,000 service members are in Alaska to participate in the Northern Edge training exercises, the largest military event of the year in the state.

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Zachariah Hughes reports on city & state politics, arts & culture, drugs, and military affairs in Anchorage and South Central Alaska. @ZachHughesAK About Zachariah