Two Anchorage-based fighter jets intercepted a pair of Russian bombers Monday night off Kodiak Island in what an Air Force commander called the first such flight seen near Alaska in nearly two years.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, head of both the Alaskan Command and the Alaska NORAD Region, said Tuesday that the detection and intercept of the Tu-95 Bear bombers took place over the course of about two hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.
In response, two F-22 Raptor jets on standby were launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, along with an E-3 Sentry AWACS radar plane.
The F-22s intercepted the Bears about 100 miles southwest of Kodiak. The propeller-driven bombers didn’t have any external signs of weaponry, and the pilots had no verbal contact.
The F-22s stayed with the Bears as they turned southwest back toward Russia, and the bombers were tracked on radar until they left U.S.-monitored airspace.