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NORAD Facility at JBER Tracks Two Russian Reconnaissance Planes Flying Off Alaska Coast

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DVIDS/NORAD
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The North American Aerospace Defense Command says it tracked two Russian reconnaissance aircraft Monday afternoon that flew near U.S. airspace.

A NORAD news release posted Monday night says the agency’s Alaska Region headquarters at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson identified and tracked two Russian Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft that entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone just before 3 p.m. Monday.

The news release says the two aircraft remained within the aircraft ID zone and did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace. But the release did not say whether fighters were scrambled to accompany the aircraft through the ID zone. That’s been the usual U.S. response in recent years to Russian aircraft that’ve entered the ID zone off Alaska.

The Russians have frequently flown through the zone in recent years, especially last year, during which U.S. fighters at JBER and other facilities scrambled at least a dozen times to intercept and accompany the aircraft through the zone.

Monday’s flight was the first time since September that NORAD reported Russian aircraft entering the Alaska ID.

The news release did not say where the aircraft were spotted nor how long they were in the aircraft ID zone.