posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 08:42 AM
Two Russian nuclear bombers flew within 40 miles of the California coast and one of the pilots relayed a veiled threat during the Fourth of July
aerial incident, defense officials said.
“Good morning American pilots, we are here to greet you on your Fourth of July Independence Day,” a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber crew member stated
over the emergency aircraft channel.
Defense officials and the Colorado-based U.S. Northern Command said this week that two U.S. F-15 jets intercepted the Russian bombers on July 4 as
they flew as close as 39 miles from the coast of Mendocino County, north of San Francisco.
During the intercept, a crew member on one of the bombers issued a warning in a radio message, according to defense officials familiar with the
incident this week.
Earlier the same day, the Bear bombers intruded on the U.S. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) near Alaska. The zone is a 200-mile controlled
airspace patrolled by U.S. and Canadian jets under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
It was the second time the Russians conducted provocative bomber flights on the Fourth of July holiday. The last incident occurred on July 4, 2012,
when two Bear bombers were intercepted off the California coast in what was then the closest such encounter near sovereign U.S. air space since the
end of the Cold War.