US Releases Footage Showing US Intercepts Of Russian Fighter Jets Over Baltic

US and Russian aircraft have reported dozens of run-ins and close calls in the airspace around Syria and the Baltic States as tensions between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have persisted despite the two leaders’ ostensibly amicable relationship. And in a bid to show the world the extent to which the relationship has deteriorated, US Air Forces Europe has released previously unseen video of two intercepts of Russian fighters that occurred last fall over the Baltic, ABC  reports.

The videos were released as part of an effort to highlight the US military’s participation in the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltics. Naturally, reminding the US’s partners in NATO of the crucial role played by the US military fits with Trump’s rhetoric urging other NATO members to help offset some of the US’s economic burden. The US is among the NATO member countries that routinely rotate aircraft and personnel to the Baltic countries on short deployments.

These aircraft are meant to intercept Russian planes that fly into the airspace around the Baltic Sea without filing a flight plan, don’t communicate civilian air traffic controllers or don’t turn on the transponders that identify them as belonging to the Russian military.

“Such aircraft create unsafe environments including air-to-air mishaps or these actions may indicate hostile acts such as hijackings,” says a factsheet about the mission posted on a NATO website. “Air Policing responses seek to ensure the safety of the airspace and its users.”

For the last four months, the 493rd Fighter Squadron has been in Lithuania leading the NATO policing mission. It has conducted about 30 intercepts of Russian aircraft. The videos shows two intercepts of Russian fighters on Nov. 23 and Dec. 13 that occurred in the international airspace above the Baltic Sea. In each case two F-15's intercepted two Russian Navy Su-30s.

A US Air Forces Europe press release said both intercepts were initiated "because the Russian aircraft did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file."

Lt. Col. Cody Blake, the commander of the 493rd squadron says the intercepts “don't happen on a day to day basis but it is a routine thing." adding "they're always conducted in a safe and professional manner." Blake said the intercepts ensure the sovereignty of the airspace of Baltic countries.

US military and defense officials regularly state that the majority of air encounters with Russian aircraft are safe and professional, although it is the "unsafe and unprofessional" encounters that regularly make the news. In those cases it’s less about how close the aircraft come to each other than the flight behavior demonstrated by Russian pilots towards American aircraft, or vice versa of course.

The Air Force’s video release also includes behind the scenes footage shot in 2014 that shows pilots quickly putting on their gear on short notice to scramble for an intercept.

The Baltic States have become one of the key battleground regions in Russia’s push against NATO expansion and as the Kremlin seeks to expand its own sphere of influence to encompass former constituent states of the Soviet Union. In September, Russia and neighboring Belarus conducted the Zapad military exercises, dubbed "the biggest display of military since the cold war". NATO has repeatedly criticized Russia for holding these exercises, which resemble a rehearsal for war with the treaty organization. Russia has also recently tested ICBMs which it says could evade anti-ballistic missile systems in Eastern Europe and South Korea.

Comments

HowdyDoody Scornd Jan 7, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

NATO 101st Drama Queen Squadron in action again

Russian MoD takes drama out of US Air Force’s video report on ‘intercepts’ near Baltics

"the Russian Ministry of Defense ... said “the route of Russian fighter jets was agreed with the air logistics control units and was carried out in strict compliance with the international rules.”

"The video begins with footage from air drills dating back to 2014, which shows US pilots rushing to suit up as an ominous alarm is heard droning in the background. The video then cuts to the skies above the Baltics, circa 2017, as NATO F-15C Eagles approach two Su-30 Flankers."

https://www.rt.com/news/415154-us-baltics-russia-intercept/

 

 

 

In reply to by Scornd

Shemp 4 Victory knukles Jan 7, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

We see once again the level of prancing drama queenery to which the "leadership" of US/NATO has descended.

A US Air Forces Europe press release said both intercepts were initiated "because the Russian aircraft did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file."

This is just another deceptive tantrum of whiny crybabies, throwing their toys out of the playpen and demanding new ones.

The Russian Ministry of Defense, being adults, explained the incidents thusly:

In a statement released on Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged that NATO F-15 jets had "approached" Su-30 fighter jets in two separate incidents – on November 23 and December 13 – near the Baltics, but said "the route of Russian fighter jets was agreed with the air logistics control units and was carried out in strict compliance with the international rules."

https://www.rt.com/news/415154-us-baltics-russia-intercept/

In September, Russia and neighboring Belarus conducted the Zapad military exercises, dubbed "the biggest display of military since the cold war". NATO has repeatedly criticized Russia for holding these exercises, which resemble a rehearsal for war with the treaty organization.

The NATO hysterics meant the biggest display of Russian military since the cold war, as NATO regularly holds exercises which are far larger than the 12,700 troops involved in the Zapad exercises.

If you recall, these were the exercises which had US General Ben Hodges shrieking about a "Trojan horse", German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen having hot flashes and claiming an invasion of 100,000 Russians, and the Ukrainians going off their medication and claiming it would involve 240,000 troops.

https://www.rt.com/news/403324-zapad-2017-drills-facts/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/how-natos-russia-scare-increases-d…

Also triggered were childhood paint-chip-eaters like NATO Secretary General Stoltenburg who demanded that foreign military personnel be allowed to observe the exercises, ignoring or not remembering that such invitations had been made by the government of Belarus.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/09/nato-and-kiev-concoct-provocations.html

Unlike Stoltenburg, representatives of many NATO and non-NATO countries understood the invitation (even the Ukrainians), attended, and were seen there by photographers.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.ru/https/colonelcassad.livejournal…

In reply to by knukles

bluez Shemp 4 Victory Jan 7, 2018 2:04 PM Permalink

The U.S. F-15 is a great 4+ generation fighter, and it is likely on par with the Su-30. However, the F-15 will presumably be the very last very high performance yet cost-effective fighter jet the U.S. ever produces. The Russians, on the other hand, will probably continue to make improvements that outperform its current 4+ generation fighter, the Su-35. The U.S. is indeed in a very sorry productional cycle with no end in sight.

In reply to by Shemp 4 Victory

Albertarocks Klassenfeind Jan 7, 2018 1:12 PM Permalink

For sure, this is staged propaganda right from the gitgo.  That's pretty obvious when the video starts out with a cameraman conveniently parked at the bottom of the stairs ready to "capture on film" a pilot donning his gear.  And then the dramatic shot by a camerman conveniently located alongside the building so the nose of the plane can be seen emerging from the hangar as if it was some sort of "starwars savior" sent by Yoda's father to save the entire f**king world from the nasty Russians. 

And there was certainly no "intercept".  The word "intercept" implies some sort of great play, or a heroic father reaching out to catch a baseball with a bare hand thereby saving his 4 year old daughter from taking one in the face.  No, this is just a case of the US airforce more or less just not minding their own business.  The Russian planes were in airspace they have every right to be in.

This kind of propaganda is so misleading and full of shit that it would be laughable if it wasn't so disgustingly juvenile.  It just goes to demonstrate how stupid they think you are.  And of course, none of you are 'that' stupid, amiright?

In reply to by Klassenfeind

thatthingcanfly Albertarocks Jan 7, 2018 1:51 PM Permalink

Did you even read the article, you fucking moron?

It is plainly stated that part of the video was a PR piece from 2014 - hence the cameraman and the spectators off the right side of the taxiway. And yes, the use of the word "intercept" in the case of F-15s scrambled to meet unidentified aircraft - in this case a pair of Sukhois - is a perfectly appropriate use of the word. "Intercept" is value-neutral, and emotionless... unlike you. 

In reply to by Albertarocks

shitshitshit YUNOSELL Jan 7, 2018 11:08 AM Permalink

 exactly, I don't think tomcats can even slightly compare to sukhois when it comes to good old dogfights...

In the video Russians don't give a shit about being intercepted, mostly because they take some measurements, like e.g.:

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-military-used-syria-war-train-forces-an…

 

Furthermore, Americanos intercepting Russian planes in international airspace is just sheer arrogance, especially when so far away from Amerika and so close to mother Russia. 

PS: for macholatte: Amerika is the last thing Europe needs to be protected, considering the "efforts" made by them brought cultural enrichment, namely the rapefugees and other little inconveniences. Russia is not an enemy nation and has no reason to be. It is Amerika who wants to cut Europe from Asia if you remember well a dead guy named Brzerzinski. So the quicker they get out the better. 

In reply to by YUNOSELL

halcyon macholatte Jan 7, 2018 10:41 AM Permalink

Go fuck yourself. US is doing it in order to try and provoke Russia, dethrone the current Russian administration and to keep the empire going.

Believe me, American bases are not welcome in Europe, never were. They were forced down European throats.

The faster Americans leave, the better off the Europeans are, living alongside with Russians and doing trade with them, instead of the silly US sanctions.

 

In reply to by macholatte

kochevnik halcyon Jan 7, 2018 11:02 AM Permalink

USA promised Yeltsin NATO never encroach Russian border.  In only decade West breaks promise using excuse of whining Baltic states as excuse to violate Russian sovereignty.  Russia not communist has no ideological conflict with West only desire to remain Russian.  Baltics play West against Russia as children.  New nationalists may petition duma to restore satellite nations as buffer against Western aggression, even if 100 year plan.  Everyone knows USA untrustworthy if only as leaders change every two years

In reply to by halcyon

jme540 rejected Jan 7, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

European democracy is not functional. We vote, than the elected people are bribed and/or blackmailed to do the exact opposite of what we want.

We don't want american army here, we don't want refugees, we don't want major companies to declare their profits in tax heavens, but the few super rich have unlimited power.

In reply to by rejected

halcyon rejected Jan 7, 2018 1:35 PM Permalink

It's called might makes right. You practically invented it in the 20th century.

That's why Europeans are not kicking US out, because they are coward pussies.

USA would destroy Europe with Operation Gladio part 3, if EU didn't play ball.

Look what happened to Japan, when they tried to oust the remaining US bases. Lesson learned.

That's why you stay in Europe (and everywhere fucking else!) and your children die in worthless wars in Africa and in the Middle-East.

Because the Empire runs on blood, yours and ours.

 

In reply to by rejected