Dec 22, 2014
Russian Nuclear Bombers Again Buzz Guam
Two Tu-95 Bear H bombers made the flight around Guam, , on Dec. 13. No U.S. interceptor jets were dispatched to shadow the bombers.
Separately, two Canadian F-18s intercepted two Bear bombers that intruded into the Alaska air defense identification zone on Dec. 8.
Around the same time in Europe, NATO jets intercepted Russian Tu-95 and Tu-22 Backfire bombers also conducting provocative flights.
Russian warplanes, including four Bear Hs and two Tu-22M Backfire bombers were shadowed as they flew simulated bombing runs from bases in Russia to the Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad for four days beginning on Dec. 7.
Regarding the Guam air defense zone incursions, “U.S. Pacific Command can confirm that two aircraft entered Guam’s outer air defense identification zone on Dec. 13”.
The aircraft were flying safely in international airspace and in accordance with international norms; as such, the decision was made to not intercept them.
It was the second time in a month that nuclear-capable Russian bombers buzzed the island.
Earlier Russian bomber flights around the 36-mile-long island took place in November and on Feb. 12, 2013. During the 2013 incursion, F-15 jets were scrambled to intercept the part of bombers.
Both earlier flights were timed to political events, including President Obama’s meeting with Putin in Australia and the president’s state of the union message in 2013.
The latest bomber flights near Guam appear timed to the Obama administration’s plan for imposing additional economic sanctions on Russia for its military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and continuing destabilization operations in eastern Ukraine.