Alaska-based fighters intercept 6 Russian aircraft flying near Alaska

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers and fighters entering Air Defense Identification Zone.

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers and fighters entering Air Defense Identification Zone. (Public domain photo by NORAD and USNORTHCOM PA)

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.

Capt. Cameron Hillier said 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 restarted 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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