The first set of two bombers flew near Alaska and just 30 minutes later a separate set flew far off the west coast of California.
The 1st incident occurred at around 10:30 a.m. EDT on July 4, when Alaskan-primarily based NORAD F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 “Bear” lengthy-variety bomber aircraft flying off the coast of the Aleutian Islands within the Air Defense Identification Zone (an area of global waters that stretches 200 miles from USA coastline), officials at NORAD said in a statement to ABC News. Two F-15s from an undisclosed location were scrambled to intercept another pair of Tu-95 Bear bombers.
A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft encountered with a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea in May, American military officials said last month.
According to Fox News, the Russian bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but a spokesman for NORAD would not confirm if either pair of bombers was armed.
“These are not unprecedented flights, but we are postured to respond whether Alaska or California”, Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for NORAD, told Fox News.
A similar incident took place on July 4, 2013.
The Air Force intercepted the bombers before they entered America’s sovereign air space, which extends 12 miles out from the coast, but the presence of the bombers is an ominous sign during the heightened tensions between Russian Federation and the United States.
The incident occurred on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory message to USA President Barack Obama to mark Independence Day. Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, Russia has increased its military exercises over Europe and the Pacific, with the US and European allies having intercepted Russian planes.