Russia: Bear Bomber Patrol 'Routine'

Russia: Bear Bomber Patrol 'Routine'
February 13th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Russia: Bear Bomber Patrol 'Routine'

Russia: Bear Bomber Patrol 'Routine'
February 12, 2008 Special Report With Brit Hume (FNC), 6:00 PM
BRET BAIER: The Russian military says a flight by its bombers near an American aircraft carrier in the Pacific was part of a routine patrol and did not violate rules of engagement. The Pentagon appears to agree, but some lawmakers are seeking a more complete explanation. National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports.
JENNIFER GRIFFIN: The four Russian Bear bombers took off from the Ukrainka Air Base in Eastern Russian and began flying toward Japan. The Ukrainka is home to a large stockpile of Russia’s Soviet-era nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The USS Nimitz, in open waters off the coast of Japan, began tracking the Russian bombers about 500 miles from the carrier and scrambled four F-18s. Two Russian planes had already approached Japanese air space, forcing Japan to send up 22 planes in response. One of the Tupolev-95s then buzzed the USS Nimitz twice from a low altitude, about 2,000 feet – a brazen act not even attempted during the Cold War.
This picture taken from the flight deck of the Nimitz shows how close the Russian plane came and how quickly it was tailed and escorted out.
ADM. GARY ROUGHEAD [Chief of Naval Operations]: You know, it’s not prudent to fly over an aircraft carrier.
GRIFFIN: The Pentagon’s chief of naval operations warned today. But he added the U.S. Navy does not view this Russian act as provocative.
On Capitol Hill, several senators demanded an explanation from the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): A Russian Bear bomber has buzzed one of our aircraft carriers.
GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT [Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman]: What we’re concerned about is what are the indications of this return to a Cold War mindset, and we’re just trying to now go back and look what message was intended by this overflight.
NELSON: (From tape.) Well, that sounds pretty provocative to me.
GRIFFIN: Senator Pete Domenici added his concern from across the aisle.
SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R-NM): If we think the Cold War has ended totally, we’re big fools because Russia is back in the business across the board.
GRIFFIN: Russian President Vladimir Putin is angry that the U.S. is negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic to place an antimissile defense shield in Europe, in Russia’s backyard. Russia expressed surprise at all the, quote, “commotion the Bear bomber incident has received in Washington.” The flights were conducted “in strict compliance with the international rules of using air space rules, over neutral waters and without any violation of other countries’ borders.”
Admiral Roughead said that he was not aware that Russia had informed the U.S. Navy or Japan that it was carrying out an exercise. Sources tell Fox that the U.S. Navy was not concerned when it saw the Bear bombers because the bombers’ wings were clean. In other words, they weren’t carrying any bombs.
At the Pentagon, Jennifer Griffin, Fox News.

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