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U.S. jets escort Russian bombers off Alaska coast

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. radar picks up the Russian planes about 500 miles off the Alaska coast
  • The Russians entered an air exclusion zone
  • They are escorted out of the area without incident
  • Russian planes last came near the U.S. coastline in February
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two U.S. Air Force F-15s escorted two Russian Bear long-range bombers out of an air exclusion zone off the coast of Alaska, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.

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Two U.S. Air Force F-15s were dispatched to meet the Russian bombers.

U.S. radar picked up the Russian turbo-prop Tupolev-95 planes about 500 miles off the Alaska coast.

The U.S. fighters from Elmendorf Air Force Base were dispatched to meet the bombers and escorted them out of the area without incident, the officials said.

The United States maintains the air exclusion zone off the coast of Alaska, barring unidentified aircraft or aircraft that don't file flight plans inside that area.

The last case of Russian aircraft approaching the U.S. coastline or ships in the Pacific was in February.

Then, four Bear bombers flew near the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, with one of them flying about 2,000 feet from the Nimitz's deck.

Russia's Defense Ministry said at the time there was no violation of flight regulations during the incident. A ministry official described the flights as standard operating procedure for air force training.

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials say the incidents are not a concern. They say it's the Russian military flexing its ability and presence. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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