Russian Air Force Plane Flies Above Pentagon, Capitol, CIA

Tyler Durden's picture

At a time when when relations between the US and Russia are about as bad as they have ever been outside of the cold war, despite expectations for a detente under the Trump administration which have not taken place for obvious reasons, the mere thought of a Russian military plane flying above the continental US, let alone the Capitol, would prompt incredulous follow-up questions whether it had been shot down. And yet, that it precisely what happened today when an unarmed Russian Air Force aircraft overflew the Capitol, the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and Andrews Air Force Base at low altitude.

The plane also reportedly flew above Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains, the Trump National Golf Course in Virginia, and Mount Weather, one of the US government's secret relocation bunkers

The flight, however, was neither unexpected nor threatening, and took place as part of a longstanding treaty that allows the militaries of the two nations to observe each other from the air.

The Russian flight was part of the 2002 Treaty on Open Skies, which allows military aircraft from the United States and Russia and other nations to fly aerial observation flights to observe military sites of the 34 signatory nations. It just so happened that today it was Putin's turn, and on Wednesday afternoon the Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 passed at around 3,700 feet over downtown Washington and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where Air Force One is based, according to flight tracking website.

According to the State Department, "the treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them."

Open Skies flights receive air traffic control priority and are closely coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Open Skies Treaty has been in effect since 2002 and over 1,200 flights have been conducted since, which contributes to verification of compliance with arms control agreements, according to the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). And, under the Open Skies treaty, the Russian plane is authorized to enter P-56, the highly secure airspace surrounding the White House.

According to CNN, a second flight by the same jet is planned for between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, when the Russian jet will overfly Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Donald Trump is vacationing, "according to two people familiar with the US government-approved flight."

The Russian aircraft has the ability to perform a variety of intelligence gathering functions, including aerial photography, thermal imaging, and picking up signals intelligence. ANd while the aircraft is capable of a variety of intelligence missions, overseeing the flyovers were several USAF personnel on board.

Still, law enforcement agencies were given very little warning of these "short notice" flights, according to CNN.

While treaty flights tend to be common, and the same Russian Air Force jet was recently spotted recently landing at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, the flight Wednesday is notable because of the high-profile nature of its surveillance targets in the nation's capital.

While the US Capitol Police sent an alert regarding plans of an aircraft to overfly Washington between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, it did not specific that the aircraft would be flown by the Russian Air Force.

"The aircraft will be large and may fly directly over the US Capitol," according to the alert. "This flight will be monitored by the US Capitol Police Command Center and other federal government agencies."

While CNN writes that the Russian Embassy in the US did not respond to a request for comment, it is unclear what if anything the plane can glean that the Russians can't already learn from spy satellite overlights, especially since anything of value would have been hidden well in advance of the pre-telegraphed flight.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Da plane Russians! Da plane Russians.

<Fantasy DC>

arby63's picture

Not at all. It was their turn. You can almost bet he called Trump first. 

MillionDollarButter's picture

That sounds about right. Epic troll on his part if he did.

SethPoor's picture

Were they groped by TSA ?

Stuck on Zero's picture

Russian high-resolution images of the Capitol showed McCain mooning the jet.

Koba the Dread's picture

McCain wasn't mooning the jet. That was his face.

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Not only are flight routes pre-planned by both sides, but officials from both the US and Canada are required to be on board Russian planes for monitoring purposes. The same rules apply to the US when they fly over Russia.

When did ZH stoop to the level of clickbait peddlers?

froze25's picture

The day they discovered a story that is intresting coupled with a catchy headline that leaves enough to the imagination to induce a click = profits? 

Eyes Opened's picture

Oh..Oh.. When is it Kimmys turn ??

Sudden Debt's picture

I wonder why they don't fly over Area 51 and give us some good video's on RT :)

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

THAT would be worth watching!  Seriously, I LOVE this idea.  Maybe the little chickenhawks will finally get it through their thick skulls that Russia is and has been a rational actor on the world stage.  THEY ARE NOT OUR ENEMY.  Competitor?  Absolutely, so is everyone else.  They are not our enemy...

Xredsx's picture

I have a terrible feeling about this. If ever there was a time for the perfect false flag attack.

Koba the Dread's picture

Relax, Archie! Not even the American people are so stupid as to believe that an observer plane, Oops! dropped a nuke on the Trump National Golf Course (whatever that is).

Francis Marx's picture

All their tech and no one could do anything if they dropped one.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Deep State drops one daily on our heads.  

This bloody Muh Russians lie / hoax is getting O-L-D.  When we say we don't believe them in the least repeatedly........THEY TRY HARDER! 


Herd Redirection Committee's picture

One of the first rules of propaganda is to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.

BOHICA2's picture

Russia bombing congress?    Reminds me of Clancey's book...   And the downside would be?  Anyone?

TwelveOhOne's picture

What spy satellites?

indio007's picture

The ones on balloons.

See Corona program.

Peacefulwarrior's picture

Do we also have an open Kimono policy?

Doom Porn Star's picture

Zipper open; -biiiig schwantzzzz hang-innng-kk owwwt!

"Take a good loooooonng look you jealous little bastards!"

earleflorida's picture

friendly enemy skies are here again...hooray

or is it ours?

Peacefulwarrior's picture

YOU SAID: friendly enemy skies are here again...hooray

"FES" Airlines may be the new Virgin Atlantic

boattrash's picture

You can bet your last dollar that they wouldn't let Boattrash fly over that Restricted Airspace.

Squid Viscous's picture

send out the wrong way NORAD 9-11 fighter squadron!
that will confuse them at least?

Fahq Yuhaad's picture

Yuri was having sex with Natasha in the ejector seat.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

All the way from Russia, with love! 

Dead Indiana Sky's picture

And it was just a few months ago that MSM was screaming Russian aggression when there was a jet within 50 miles of Alaska?  Whatever......

Peacefulwarrior's picture

That soft handed Senator with the hot dog sucking mouth (Blumenthal) will be on CNN momentarily to show his outrage.

NobodyNowhere's picture

Israel flies not over Pentagone, but UNDER Congressmen skirts

The Cooler King's picture

Remind me again how much we give them per year to have them fly over us, under us, & everywhere else, but that they are neither part of this, nor the nuclear non-proliferation treaty so nobody can technically see what they're up to.


Then try to explain to me ~ why?

Eyes Opened's picture

After 9/11 Israel was taken off the list... 

Rick Cerone's picture

The Christian Zionists just wet themselves.

Jesus is coming!!

TheSilentMajority's picture

Russia and Iran are not the enemy. They actually have common interests that would benefit the globe.

The true enemies have actually been cunningly disguised as "friends" for decades.

We all know who they are.

quadraspleen's picture

is it just me or is this weird right now? I mean I'm all for friendly skies n' all... but whut?

VladLenin's picture

Watch out Vlad, you'll get a booger flicked on ya when flying low over the swamp.

arby63's picture

If we all agree, I'm all for it. Whenever possible, we should reduce tensions caused exclusively by the US CONgress.

roadhazard's picture

That agreement is already a year or two old. It still boggles my mind on several levels.  I'm sure Trump will want to buzz the Kremlin now.