As NATO continues to "defensively" position an increasing number of troops, infrastructure, missile launchers, and missile shield systems, it appears the Russians are inching up their border protections at the other side of the world.
As AP reports, the Russian military says that two nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown to the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula, near Alaska, as part of an air force exercise.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Tu-160 bombers flew about 7,000 kilometers (4,350 Miles) from their home base near Saratov in southwestern Russia to Anadyr, on Chukotka, before returning to their home base.
The ministry said the mission was the first time the bombers had flown to Chukotka, which faces Alaska across the Bering Strait.
The ministry said the air force exercise also involved the Tu-95 strategic bombers and tanker planes.
The move comes just three months after two Russian long-range bombers were intercepted off the coast of Alaska by a pair of F-22 Raptor fighter jets.
The Tu-95 bombers were flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone in the Bering Sea north of the Aleutian Islands, where they were visually identified and shadowed by the U.S. jets at 10 a.m., said Navy Capt. Scott Miller, a North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman.
The bombers did not enter North American sovereign airspace, he said in a statement. Miller declined to say how close the bombers came to U.S. land. Fox News reported they flew as close as 55 miles off Alaska’s west coast.
The Russian military has increased the intensity and scope of its drills amid strain in relations with the U.S. and its allies.
We wonder if Sarah Palin can see the bombers from her house?
The flight demonstrated that Russian bombers could be deployed close to the U.S. and will likely prompt a response from the likes of John McCain imploring a 'defensive' attack to protect America's northern border.