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NORAD Intercepts Two Russian Bomber Formations

North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 Raptors, supported by KC-135 Stratotankers and an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, completed two intercepts of Russian Bomber formations entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone early this morning.

The first Russian formation consisted of two Tu-95 bombers, accompanied by two Su-35 fighter jets and an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, which came within 20 nautical miles of Alaskan shores.

The second Russian formation consisted of two Tu-95 bombers supported by an A-50 and came within 32 nautical miles of Alaskan shores. The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did they enter United States sovereign airspace.

“Intercepting multiple Russian aircraft demonstrates NORAD forces’ readiness and capability to defend the homelands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, NORAD Commander. “Flying air patrols protects the approaches to our nations and sends a clear message we continue executing our homeland defense missions with the same capability and capacity we always bring to the fight.”

Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a bi-national command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada, the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations, and draws on forces from both countries.

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