Russian aircraft flew a bit too close to Alaska on Thursday, but apparently did not enter US or Canadian airspace, defense officials said.
The planes entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends for hundreds of miles around the shore and is monitored for national security purposes, according to the military’s Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
It’s unclear how close the aircraft buzzed the US, which is only about two miles away from Russia at its closest point.
Defense officials monitor the area with satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft, according to the article.
“We remain vigilant in our execution of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America in order to deter strategic competitors from threatening the shared interest of the U.S., our allies and partners,” said Air Force Lt. Gen David Krumm, commander, Alaskan NORAD Region, Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force.
The incident came a day after Russia scrambled two fighter jets to escort US war planes that were flying over the Black Sea.
The US bombers did not breach Russian airspace, and Russia carried out its maneuver in compliance with international airspace rules, the country’s defense ministry said
“Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as two US Air Force supersonic strategic B-1B bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refueling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea,” Moscow said Wednesday.
B-1B bombers were recently deployed across the Arctic, the Baltics and the Black Sea as part of drills with NATO allies, according to Air Force Magazine.
The incident came a day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine and blasted the Kremlin for its ongoing occupation of the Crimean peninsula while calling on Russia to halt cyberattacks against the US.
With Post wires