US spy plane evades Russians, enters Swedish airspace

posted at 9:31 am on August 3, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

This story apparently took place last month, right after Malaysia flight 17 was shot down over the Russia – Ukraine border area, but we’re only hearing about it now. A United States aircraft – a Boeing RC-135 – was performing reconnaissance of Russian forces when the Russians noticed, began tracking the craft using ground radar and dispatched a fighter jet to intercept it. Complicating the issue is the fact that the US plane took evasive action which included flying into Swedish airspace without getting permission to do so.

Once the crew on board the spy plane realized they were being tracked, they tried their best to get out of the area as soon as possible.

The closest escape from the Russians was in Swedish airspace where they entered without gaining clearance with the country first.

CNN reports that the United States is speaking with Sweden about the fact that they may need to enter Swedish territory in the event the U.S. needs to avoid the Russian military in the future.

The breach of territory was first reported by the Swedish Media outlet DN.se. But Russian officials have not yet replied with their reaction.

‘We acknowledge a U.S. aircraft veered into Swedish airspace and will take active steps to ensure we have properly communicated with Swedish authorities in advance to prevent similar issues before they arise,’ said the U.S. State Department.

This complicates things for the Swedes a bit, as they would no doubt prefer not to have the Russians thinking they were in cahoots on the plan. But with the US acknowledgement of the maneuver and meetings to make sure it doesn’t happen again, we’re probably giving them all the cover they need.

A bigger question comes from how brazen the Russians are getting lately in challenging our planes flying in international airspace. As the article reminds us, another US plane nearly collided with a Russian fighter during a game of chicken back in April over the Sea of Okhotsk between Russia and Japan. This is really reminiscent of cold war games which were taking place for many years. During the early 80s when I was deployed on an aircraft carrier in the western Pacific, our F-14s regularly got into all sorts of close calls with the Russians. It was something of a badge of honor among the pilots. The Russians also deployed “fishing boats” which followed us nearly everywhere. (Though why a fishing boat would have no nets and more antennas than a cable TV relay station was a bit of a mystery.)

Just yesterday we talked about the possibility of Putin making an overt move on the Ukraine. And now he seems to be putting on a bold front in terms of challenging the United States in terms of air power. Just what is this guy up to?


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Wait ’til Obama hears about this on the news.

JimK on August 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Just what is this guy up to?

He’s testing Obama.

myiq2xu on August 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Much ado about nothing.

Tell me that if the USAF spotted a Russian military plane flying along the U.S. Pacific coast just beyond the U.S. boundary that we wouldn’t track it or even send fighters to the area to determine the plane’s intentions.

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Wait ’til Obama hears about this on the news.

JimK on August 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

That will never get old…

right2bright on August 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

You might want to mention that the plane was in international airspace a little earlier in the article. When I first started reading it I thought the spy plane was in Russian airspace, like the U-2 they infamously shot down during the Cold War.

myiq2xu on August 3, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Just what is this guy up to?

Why does the bully kick sand in the face of the 95-lb. weakling?

Because he can.

Wethal on August 3, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Tell me that if the USAF spotted a Russian military plane flying along the U.S. Pacific coast just beyond the U.S. boundary that we wouldn’t track it or even send fighters to the area to determine the plane’s intentions.

Before Obama I would agree. Now . . . who knows?

myiq2xu on August 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Tell me that if the USAF spotted a Russian military plane flying along the U.S. Pacific coast just beyond the U.S. boundary that we wouldn’t track it or even send fighters to the area to determine the plane’s intentions.

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

No, the “ground based radar”, was not air traffic controller radar (search radar), they are talking about an offensive radar sweep (target radar).

There is different radar for different purposes, and we have had many intrusions near our coast and we don’t lock on to them with target radar, if we did, you can bet Russian and China would make a big deal about it.

Target acquisition (TA or TAR) radar is totally different when it comes to military and politics than Early Warning systems.

right2bright on August 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I’m guessing it was tracked with a SAM-associated radar and not a general search/track radar and that’s what got the crew excited. As far as Sweden worrying about supporting the US, there is a long established history between the two militaries.

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Don’t worry our fearless leader, soon, will be at Martha’s Vineyard, riding his girlie bike. He’ll give us plenty of selfies to chuckle at.
The World will be safe.
Thanks O for all you don’t do.

woodhull on August 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

You might want to mention that the plane was in international airspace a little earlier in the article. When I first started reading it I thought the spy plane was in Russian airspace, like the U-2 they infamously shot down during the Cold War.

myiq2xu on August 3, 2014 at 9:42 AM

If they were in International Airspace why did they violate Swedish airspace by running away from the Russians? That makes no sense.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Up to? No good. I’ve seen the future and it looks…cold.

vnvet on August 3, 2014 at 10:02 AM

“Breach of territory?”

Heh.

blammm on August 3, 2014 at 10:03 AM

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

No, the “ground based radar”, was not air traffic controller radar (search radar), they are talking about an offensive radar sweep (target radar).

right2bright on August 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

AngusMc only thinks he knows it all. Thanks for putting the pompous know-it-all in his place.

CW on August 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

If they were in International Airspace why did they violate Swedish airspace by running away from the Russians? That makes no sense.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2014 at 10:01

Exactly…used to be that one of the purposes of flying close to the border of an enemy was to test what would come up. Questions need to be asked of the pilot. It sounds like he panicked.

JimBob on August 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Sweden is really getting into the Sharia thing … I’m surprsied they didn’t call for Jihad or something.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

What’s Putin up to? He’s just giving Bambi a reset button.

BLOC on August 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

What is Putin up to? Same thing the Chinese, and most other warfare nations are doing – sending the US home with it’s tail between its legs. Shortly Russia and China will lay claim to entire Eurasian continent, at least in superiority of the air and the seas. Thanks to the Democrats over the last 8 years, the US is no longer a player, and will not be for the next 2 generations. It’s hard to understate how far Obama has gutted the US’ detente position. Roosevelt said “walk softly and carry a big stick”, not “crawl lowly with no stick”, or worse, stand there with your hand on your dick. I read Hot Air (regularly for years), and I am, of late, amazed at the level of cognitive dissonance exhibited by Americans generally, and regularly expressed by article choice here at Hot Air. The Russians are telling you you are now irrelevant. Sanctions on a country the size of Russia are a technical nuisance only. They have the capacity over time to readily short circuit their effect. And they will.

Skip2014 on August 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Isn’t Sweden quite a ways away from Russia?
Plus one has to fly over Finland or Norway to get into Swedish Air Space.

Map:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sweden/@62.1983366,17.5671981,5z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x465cb2396d35f0f1:0x22b8eba28dad6f62

Plus….

So every time a US military plane is in International air space and a Russian jet approaches the US plane heads for the nearest country’s air space?

Guessing that pilot was re-assigned to fly a desk.

albill on August 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Nothing like a good cold war to make everybody feel better.

Viator on August 3, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Rivet Joint operation. He wasn’t running away. Once the target acquisition radar was turned on, it is time to leave as they have the signature, time, and place now in their computers. Not panicking. Would you rather he be shot down? We are officially in Cold War II.

rlwo2008 on August 3, 2014 at 10:27 AM

The pilot should have told the Russian pilots that they’d better back off because President Obama is one tough hombre and won’t stand for this. The resulting hysterical laughter from the Russian pilots would have caused them to lose control of their aircraft and crash.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The big question is why our RC-135 thought that they needed to exit international airspace to avoid the Russians? Are the Russians enforcing some 200 mile limit or something for aviation? We do know what Russians do even to civil aviation which transgresses their borders — Korea Air 007 being a great case in point, in which they had visual confirmation that they were tracking a civilian airliner and still shot it down.

It’s interesting — the Russians fly their Bears up and down California’s coast all the time and all we do is intercept and fly sedately along side them to assure that they do not turn toward California or launch something they ought not to. None of this jet-wash thing that the Soviets — er, Russisns — like to do.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

AngusMc only thinks he knows it all. Thanks for putting the pompous know-it-all in his place.

CW on August 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Still the same old ignorant prick, eh CW? Getting on the wrong side of a horrible human being like you is a badge of honor.

I’ve read numerous articles on this and not a single one says that it was missile targeting radar. In fact, most say that the plane only veered when Russian jets approached it, which would indicate that they were not really concerned about the radar portion of the encounter.

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

So wait a sec, Jazz. We send up a spy plane, they don’t like it, and they are the bad guy for taken action to disrupt the spying.

You have to be psychotic to blame Russia for that. It’s like you swing your fists just before my face time after time ut never quite connecting, I move to block your swing, and I am to blame. That logic is plainly stupid.

And by the way, Jazz, where is your article defending Russia who had their planes in international airspace 50 miles off California 2 months ago, causing the USA to scramble jets? Huh? Am waiting for that one, or are you being a hypocrite?

Smegley on August 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Call me when the Rooskies shoot down one of our planes.

HiJack on August 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

So wait a sec, Jazz. We send up a spy plane, they don’t like it, and they are the bad guy for taken action to disrupt the spying.

Smegley on August 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

It wasn’t just an ordinary intercept … they were being tracked and therefore locked onto.

We used to play this all the time with the USSR but rarely this aggressive.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I was on an aircraft carrier in 1972 and 1973. We were deployed with the forces bombing and patrolling around North Vietnam. One Sunday a Russian “trawler” was allowed to cruise past the carrier when no flight operations were being conducted. As it passed within 1/2 mile of the ship the Country Joe and the Fish “Vietnam” song was played over the 1MC loud speakers (“one,two,three what are we fighting for”.) It is unclear whether the Russians thought it was funny, but the carrier crew thought it was hilarious

Dogwatch on August 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Skip2014 on August 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Thanks for your concern, moby.

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Call me when the Rooskies [are able to] shoot down one of our planes.

HiJack on August 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

FIFM.

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM

If they were in International Airspace why did they violate Swedish airspace by running away from the Russians? That makes no sense.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2014 at 10:01 AM

If you’d just been painted by an offensive (missile) radar, you’d run fast too.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

FIFM.

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM

They are quite capable of shooting down one of our planes — as MF17 clearly shows. And, given how they’ve been behaving recently, I’d say that certain hotshots over there have the resolve as well.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Time to bring back the Blackbird.

bflat879 on August 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Call me when the Rooskies [are able to] shoot down one of our planes.

FIFM.

davidk

Yeah sure, they are not capable to, which explains why our plane went running with its tail between its legs.
Then again, the Commander In Chief is a cowardly maggot anyway, so no doubt it’s a reflection of the nation’s leadership.

Smegley on August 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Time to bring back the Blackbird.

bflat879 on August 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Nope. Priority is flooding the US with illegals and killing the middle class. After that … maybe.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Time to bring back the Blackbird.

bflat879 on August 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

No shit, badass Blackbird used to just out run missiles fired at it…with the crew looking back waving bye bye. My favorite from my Air Force days.

msupertas on August 3, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I was heavily involved in USAF recon flights in the 80′s+. These flights occur on a near daily basis and rarely are they tracked with a fire control radar. The pilot has many considerations, the first and foremost is crew safety and avoiding international incidents. There are protocols in place for many contingencies that may occur during the flight and I’m sure the proper action was taken IAW these protocols. There should be no questioning of the pilot’s decision to abort the mission.

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:07 AM

They are quite capable of shooting down one of our planes — as MF17 clearly shows. And, given how they’ve been behaving recently, I’d say that certain hotshots over there have the resolve as well.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

The F-117A was shot down by the Yugoslav military. They had modified a Russian radar system, and, coupled with deciphered NATO intel, were able to get a fix on the bird.

The hubris of the pilot was, I believe, a contributing factor. I doubt it will happen again.

RE: this incident. What you read in the papers is what we want the Russians to know. A mission that would violate Russian airspace with the the clunky 135 would not be without escort.

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

I guess Putin took this literally?

Thank you Barack and Hitlary – you guys are awesome!

KMC1 on August 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Much ado about nothing.
AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Yup, it’s pretty much SOP for any country to react when a military aircraft approaches or violates it’s territory. It would be news if the Russkis didn’t react.

whatcat on August 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Isn’t Sweden quite a ways away from Russia?
Plus one has to fly over Finland or Norway to get into Swedish Air Space.

albill on August 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Good points, but I think the pilot’s job is safe.

It is about 400 miles from St. Petersburg to Stockholm.

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM

The closest escape from the Russians was in Swedish airspace

How could Swedish air space be the closest when Sweden doesn’t even abut Russia? There’s Norway to the north and Finland to the east.

bgoldman on August 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I spent 10 years supporting these missions on the ground in the Air Force. These missions are briefed before take-off on what to do if certain things occur while on orbit.

Whatever happened out there caused the conditions for a “mandatory abort”. The pilot had no choice. I’m guessing current tensions are to the point where we don’t want Russian tactical aircraft to get close to our reconnaissance aircraft.

yeff on August 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

How could Swedish air space be the closest when Sweden doesn’t even abut Russia? There’s Norway to the north and Finland to the east.

I could think of many reasons Sweden was the pilot’s choice. Maybe he was outbound when the radar lit off and Sweden was closest. Maybe Finland was closer, but Helsinki air traffic made Sweden a better choice. May he was lit up quite a while and was then told to abort and at that point, Sweden was closer. Maybe they were communicating with Swedish ATC when the incident occurred and they asked for permission. The Baltic can be very crowded with military aircraft…

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

It would seem to me:
1) Much of the confusion is deliberate, here. The US is not going to release the details of the mission or haul. Just the fact that it was an RC-135 & that it violated Swedish airspace. You are free to conjecture to your hearts’ content, but it seems almost impossible to grasp what happened & why. Please feel free to continue to insult Obama & one another on the basis of a bald statement.
2) SR-71′s are NOT coming back.
A. Too costly to operate. Required special tools, no cadmium. Special Fuel JP-7 (IIRC) & a special tanker, KC-135Q (IIRC)
B. Too costly for this type of mission. The RC-135 loiters soaking of RadInt/ElInt/ComInt. It’s not a dash & go mission.
3) Lastly, I’m pretty certain the Russians CAN bring down an RC-135, it being a Boeing 707. I’m not certain that in some areas, at least, if the Russians couldn’t down an SR-71. I’d imagine the higher Number SA-XX systems can reach the requisite altitude & can engage an SR-71 @ speed, especially those systems with an ATBMS role.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Maybe Finland was closer, but Helsinki air traffic made Sweden a better choice.

Maybe Finland said “No.”.

Maybe they were communicating with Swedish ATC when the incident occurred
Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Why would a US spy plane be chatting with a Swedish ATC?

whatcat on August 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

I’ve read numerous articles on this and not a single one says that it was missile targeting radar. In fact, most say that the plane only veered when Russian jets approached it, which would indicate that they were not really concerned about the radar portion of the encounter.

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

If you read the DE.se story, you’d know that the Swedes were tracking the US aircraft on radar through its entire fiight near Sweden. They also state that it is normal for the Russians to intercept the aircraft near the spot where it was forced to turn. The Swedes have witnessed hundreds of these flights, and they always followed the same pattern and route — until this one.

The fact that the Swedes had the RC-135 on their radar didn’t cause the aircraft to turn, and the interceptor dispatched by the Russians doesn’t appear to be the cause either.

That the Russians had the RC on their radar is obvious and normal — the interceptor would not have been sent otherwise.

So what was abnormal?

The obvious conclusion is that something else forced the RC-135 to turn 90 degrees away from its course paralleling Russia and fly toward Sweden. Given that the RC-135 is designed to intercept air defense radar system signals, the only possible conclusion is that they must have observed a type of radar that they recognized as offensive in nature. Certainly the RC-135 can’t outrun a Russian fighter plane, and the Russian fighter certainly had the range to reach the RC-135 even over Sweden had it chosen, so the plane fled out of range of something else.

There’s a picture on the DE.se website of the path the RC-135 took, and it is illuminating. The plane’s path takes it outbound perpendicular to the Latvian coastline (the plane was flying parallel to the Latvian coast at that time).

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Why would a US spy plane be chatting with a Swedish ATC?

Really??

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Whatcat, considering that Finnish Air Defense Fighters are on a very limited budget & don’t respond to these sorts of incursions, them saying “NO” is not necessarily relevant…
As to ATC, who can say… HOWEVER, just because you’re “spying” doesn’t mean you’re CLANDESTINE. THE RC-135 doesn’t want as mid-air collision any more than the Virgin Airways tourist flight to St. Petersburg. So yes, a Boeing -707 might well have a transponder on & be talking to an ATC Point….. Mode C simply says flight info, & altitude…. if you’re listed as a “NATO Over Water Training Flight” from RAF Bentwaters to an air field in Poland, well that doesn’t mean you ARE one.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

fact there is rc135 on station there is pretty damned telling.
only 17 or so of them.

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Exactly. The word “spy” is over used in the context of overt reconnaissance aircraft. Those ATC controllers see these planes all the time flying the same routes at the same altitudes probably multiple times a week. It is all very overt and everyone knows what these planes are doing. The secret is in what capabilities are onboard the aircraft…

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I’ve read numerous articles on this and not a single one says that it was missile targeting radar. In fact, most say that the plane only veered when Russian jets approached it, which would indicate that they were not really concerned about the radar portion of the encounter.

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I understand you digging in…

This aircraft is very sophisticated, it recognizes and analyzes constantly.

The only reason to suddenly veer off course, in international airspace is because of a threat…and visual threat is too late.

You won’t ever hear the reason, because it will be “secret”, but reasoning says, normal radar they expect, when it moves up the scale, they pay attention, and when certain TAR (and there are many different, air to air, ground to air, mobile, etc.), then evasive action takes place. Just being “met” in air by migs is not a real reason to be concerned, like you said, we do the same…but when certain “systems” are deployed, than evasive action has to take place…and it takes place quickly, long before the threat actually physically materializes.

It does two things, keeps us safe, and tells the Russian’s we know and can detect.

But this was unusual to make such a drastic course change…a “red alert” went off in the cockpit.

right2bright on August 3, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Why would a US spy plane be chatting with a Swedish ATC?

Really??

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I mean, how does that go?

“Hiya Ole! How’s Lena?
“Ve’re doing yust fine, tack. And you?
“Oh,Oh Ole – Good buddy, we need to land our secret spy plane, the Russians are on us. How abouts squeezing us in between a couple of SAS flights?”
“Ya, sure ting dere, Secret Spy Plane!”

whatcat on August 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

It wasn’t just an ordinary intercept … they were being tracked and therefore locked onto.

We used to play this all the time with the USSR but rarely this aggressive.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Bull, I’ve got pictures from the 1980s of Russian planes doing flybys less than 1000 yards our Aircraft Carriers being “escorted” by F4′s. It was extremely aggressive then, more so than now I think.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Putin is showing the world that America has become weak. We are run by academics and professional talkers. Our president is a community organizer (whose college transcripts can NEVER be seen), our Sec. Of State is a pompous rich widow chaser….and he’s still about as competent as the wife of the serial adulterer we had before.
Putin is the bully on the playground and the “leaders” of America and Europe are beyond weak.
Who is this guy? Hell. We all know who he is. Some just want to pretend we don’t .

Sugar Land on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

whatcat on August 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

They didn’t land in Sweden. Other than that, that could be a close approximation as to the conversation; substituting call sign for “secret spy plane.”

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

I remember when MIG-25s would purposely break the sound barrier over West Berlin. Sometimes enroute to the Baltic to try to intercept an SR71. Good times.

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM

linking to the daily mail and not actual cnn was not good, they don’t even get the a/c name right.

The RC-135 Rivet Joint fled into nearby Swedish airspace without that country’s permission, a U.S. military official told CNN. The airplane may have gone through other countries’ airspace as well, though it’s not clear if it had permission to do so.
cnn source
cnn.com/2014/08/02/us/us-spy-plane/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

not sure if theres really any issues with the other countries

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Other than that, that could be a close approximation as to the conversation; substituting call sign for “secret spy plane.”
Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

It’s a little hard for me to believe that a pilot on a secret mission would be calling up anyone just to chew the fat. I’m guessing they would instead rather be in contact with their superiors – and not to make small talk.

whatcat on August 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

You know, Aplombed, we can’t discount the possibility that instead of being painted the RJ actually *heard* something threatening and aborted because of that…

yeff on August 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

How could Swedish air space be the closest when Sweden doesn’t even abut Russia? There’s Norway to the north and Finland to the east.

bgoldman on August 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The flight was near Kaliningrad, which is Russian territory to the Northeast of Poland, ajoining the Baltic Sea.

It wasn’t just an ordinary intercept … they were being tracked and therefore locked onto.

We used to play this all the time with the USSR but rarely this aggressive.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

The original Swedish news story said that the Russian actions were routine and has happened in this very spot some 50 times since May (so basically this happens every 2-3 days). What was unusual is the response

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 12:13 PM

You know, Aplombed, we can’t discount the possibility that instead of being painted the RJ actually *heard* something threatening and aborted because of that…

yeff on August 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Yep. I remember in the 80′s, the Soviet controllers would routinely tell the pilots to shoot it down IF it crossed the border. Sometimes this was misheard/translated and all hell would break loose.

Aplombed on August 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM

What was unusual is the response

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 12:13 PM

agreed.
these are not novice crews in these things, far too valuable an asset for that.
we see them (or used to) at KBGR (bangor maine) as its home to the 101st refuel wing. get a lot of different military a/c (including P4, cool prop job) there.

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

rlwo2008 on August 3, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Exactly. We are not even getting the tip of the iceberg as to incidents involving Russia flexing their military muscles. The question on every military member serving is how much actual support our CiC President lead from behind will demonstrate. If I was still serving I would certainly want to know the President’s daily schedule before any my missions launched. Its a bad day if he’s at a fund raiser or on the golf course.

Gebirgsjager on August 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Actually, the Soviets did shoot down a couple of our ELINT/SIGINT/COMINT platforms during the Cold War. Just not public knowledge as it would be today. There were at least a couple I think were operating out of Turkey.

rlwo2008 on August 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Angus you are being either:
1) Obstinate; or
2) Ignorant.

Of course the Swedes would say that, they have no incentive to reveal what they can hear or see; further
1) A Swedish radar sight might not “See” ANYTHING different from the last 50 flights of this nature; however
2) A Swedish ESM site might have “Heard” a radically different situation, as some have said, not acquisition radars, but tracking & fire control radars, airborne intercept radars going to “intercept mode”, even GCI operators authorizing a shoot…a Swedish ATC/Air Defense radar is privy to NONE of that, but listening post might.
3) As I said, in any event the Swedes aren’t going to say much about what they know, because it reveals THEIR “sources & methods.”

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

The story doesn’t make a lot of sense: the nearest part of Russia to Swedish airspace is Kaliningrad, and that’s a good seventy miles from the middle of the Baltic – well outside the range of any Russian SAM I’m aware of.

Of course, the details, such as they are, could simply have been misreported.

PersonFromPorlock on August 3, 2014 at 1:06 PM

rwlo2008, you have that backwards… we DIDN’T know @ the time, we learned later….@the time the Secretary of Defense/Navy/Air Force simply regretted to inform you that Airman/Capt. Smedlap died in an training accident over the Atlantic. I believe it’s north of 14 planes & 50-plus aircrew died from 1945-on in these incidents?

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Bull, I’ve got pictures from the 1980s of Russian planes doing flybys less than 1000 yards our Aircraft Carriers being “escorted” by F4′s. It was extremely aggressive then, more so than now I think.

Johnnyreb on August 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The carriers were in blue water.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM

rwlo2008, you have that backwards… we DIDN’T know @ the time, we learned later….@the time the Secretary of Defense/Navy/Air Force simply regretted to inform you that Airman/Capt. Smedlap died in an training accident over the Atlantic. I believe it’s north of 14 planes & 50-plus aircrew died from 1945-on in these incidents?

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I don’t see what I said as being backwards. But apparently you do. That the Soviets shot down our aircraft was true, just like I said. And not all training accidents were shootdowns. I see the Soviets as the aggressors or villains, not the United States just because we didn’t make it public that the Soviets shot down any of the aircraft. Of course, we shouldn’t be making everything public as to the real cause. I have zero problem with my government being discerning as to what to release to the public.

rlwo2008 on August 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Actually, I see what you said, & truth-to-tell I doubt it would be PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE today…. please don’t get testy, I don’t think I said or IMPLIED that the Soviets/Russians or the US were good or bad…. spying happens, sometimes bad things happen to the platforms & crew.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

OBVIOUSLY spying is illegal in all venues…& equally obviously EVERYONE does it….” Ivy Bells” was illegal as H3ll & very provocative, but we did it any way. I assume the Soviets did the same….

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Actually, I see what you said, & truth-to-tell I doubt it would be PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE today…. please don’t get testy, I don’t think I said or IMPLIED that the Soviets/Russians or the US were good or bad…. spying happens, sometimes bad things happen to the platforms & crew.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Okay, I am saying the United States is good, and the Soviets and now the Russians under Putin are bad. And, yes, I do know spying happens. I disagree that a shootdown would not become public today. Too many people are quite willing to give anything up to the media these days. And, if I am told I have something backwards, I will get testy.

rlwo2008 on August 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Well at the spying level, I really don’t see “good” or “evil.” Sorry… Ivy Bells involved the penetration of SOVIET TERROTORIAL WATERS to tap a submarine cable… Imagine the outrage if we found an Akula in Chesapeake Bay doing the same thing! Nazi’s spy, Americans spy, Russians spy, we all spy, on our enemies & our friends…. it’s always illegal, in the target country, & so what?

I don’t see good or evil I see productive & non-productive…. IVY BELLS was productive… so was the Walker Spy Ring for the Soviets.

As to today, I’d have to say you’re wrong….I don’t think the Intelligence/Spec Ops community is any more or less garrulous than it was ever… we only heard about THIS because it involved the Swedes. If, the Russians had shot the aircraft down, we might not have heard about it…. we didn’t hear about the other a/c being lost until the Cold War was over.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Just yesterday we talked about the possibility of Putin making an overt move on the Ukraine. And now he seems to be putting on a bold front in terms of challenging the United States in terms of air power. Just what is this guy up to?

He’s letting us know that Russia still considers themselves a superpower, that Russia never lost the cold war — that it was only looking bad for them for awhile, that Russia will never stop advancing its interests, and that the US is in its way and if it continues to be in its way, the US will be forcibly removed.

In other words, what he’s up to is he’s acting like the President of Russia. If only we had a leader who could be bothered to act like the President of the United States.

Stoic Patriot on August 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Wait ’til Obama hears about this on the news.

JimK on August 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

“WTF is Valerie Jarrett doing?”

MaiDee on August 3, 2014 at 1:52 PM

MaiDee, it did happen last month, I assume Obama might have heard about on the 19th hole….

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM

During the early 80s when I was deployed on an aircraft carrier in the western Pacific, our F-14s regularly got into all sorts of close calls with the Russians. It was something of a badge of honor among the pilots.

During the early ’80s, you had a CinC that would’ve backed you to the hilt. Now? One wonders. Its easier to kill bad guys with a missile, than to face down the Putins of the world.

tgharris on August 3, 2014 at 1:58 PM

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Actually, I’m one of the few being reasonable. Others are hyperventilating and making sweeping claims without any evidence. I merely pointed out that it was not unusual for interceptors to be sent out in such situations, or to be tracked by radar, but something caused the American crew to respond in an unusual way. Maybe they acted reasonably. Or maybe someone panicked due to the Malaysian Air shootdown. You can bet that the flight crew went through some pretty thorough questioning when they got back to base.

How is it obstinate or ignorant to avoid jumping to conclusions before we know more?

AngusMc on August 3, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Don’t worry our fearless leader, soon, will be at Martha’s Vineyard, riding his girlie bike. He’ll give us plenty of selfies to chuckle at.
The World will be safe.
Thanks O for all you don’t do.

woodhull on August 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Yeah, and there’s plenty of beers to drink, and baseball games for us to watch. The reason Duh One is there in the first place is because of our collective laziness when it comes to maintaining our Republic, and huge doses of normalcy bias. I think it’s We the People that are fiddling while Rome burns.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

How is this supposed to play out when the US depends on the Soviets Russians for ferrying our astronauts to and from the International Space Station because we are spending all our space dollars on Muslim self-esteem therapy?

Reuben Hick on August 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Reuben Hick on August 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

been wondering this too and I do not know.

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 3:09 PM

eah, and there’s plenty of beers to drink, and baseball games for us to watch. The reason Duh One is there in the first place is because of our collective laziness when it comes to maintaining our Republic, and huge doses of normalcy bias. I think it’s We the People that are fiddling while Rome burns.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I wholeheartedly agree and occasionally wonder if blowing off steam here takes time away from engaging in effective political activity.

V7_Sport on August 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

woodhull on August 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

.
Yeah, and there’s plenty of beers to drink, and baseball games for us to watch. The reason Duh One is there in the first place is because of our collective laziness when it comes to maintaining our Republic, and huge doses of normalcy bias. I think it’s We the People that are fiddling while Rome burns.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

.
This should be nominated (among others) for “comment of the year.”

listens2glenn on August 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM

What’s he up to?
He’s mocking the US and everyone knows it.

Can’t wait until NKA decides to lob a nuke towards Japan, just to show Obama Will. Do. Nothing.

Tard on August 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Anyone who wants to read about what the Soviets were capable of in these little cat and mouse games should read All Hands Down by Kenneth Sewell about the loss of USS Scorpion. I am NOT one for conspiracies, I’m a big believer in Occam’s razor, however the book makes a compelling case that the Russians deliberately sunk one of our subs.

V7_Sport on August 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

What’s he up to?
He’s mocking the US and everyone knows it.

Can’t wait until NKA decides to lob a nuke towards Japan, just to show Obama Will. Do. Nothing.

Tard on August 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

.
I hope you’ll forgive the Japanese people, if they don’t share your anticipation.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Can’t wait until NKA decides to lob a nuke towards Japan, just to show Obama Will. Do. Nothing.

Tard on August 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

nodong 5 is capable of it iirc, but I would rather they not do this.

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Can’t wait until NKA decides to lob a nuke towards Japan, just to show Obama Will. Do. Nothing.

Tard on August 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I hope you’ll forgive the Japanese people, if they don’t share your anticipation.

listens2glenn on August 3, 2014 at 3:41 PM

For tards the world beyond their own village isn’t a real place full of actual people.

DarkCurrent on August 3, 2014 at 4:59 PM

For tards the world beyond their own village isn’t a real place full of actual people.

DarkCurrent on August 3, 2014 at 4:59 PM

You mean beyond Asia, right?

Good Solid B-Plus on August 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Can’t wait until NKA decides to lob a nuke towards Japan, just to show Obama Will. Do. Nothing.

Tard on August 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Wouldn’t that be some sweet irony if Red China’s only ally the retarded Norkies launched a token attack that convinces the Japanese to finally go nuclear.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

You mean beyond Asia, right?

Good Solid B-Plus on August 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I mean in general

DarkCurrent on August 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Just seeing how weak a horse Barack realy is.

Hobbled and hamstrung by his utopian silliness, Obama is like a crippled gelding in wolf country.

Putin and his pack are howling.

profitsbeard on August 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Thank you. I appreciated your clarifications in this thread.

rhombus on August 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Wouldn’t that be some sweet irony if Red China’s only ally the retarded Norkies launched a token attack that convinces the Japanese to finally go nuclear.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

North Korea “test-launches” its missiles across the Japanese home islands on a regular basis. And this is forcing some in the Japanese government to consider allowing nuclear missiles or ships into its territories. (The reason that the carrier CV-67 JFK was re-fit and spent more years on the job past its “useful” lifespan before finally being retired in 2007, is because it was the last of the oil-burners and was able to visit Japanese ports.)

Alien on August 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

You are free to conjecture to your hearts’ content, but it seems almost impossible to grasp what happened & why.

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with the way this is being reported. Some facts are wrong, and many facts are missing. Impossible to know the real story.

OBVIOUSLY spying is illegal in all venues…

JFKY on August 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

This isn’t true. It’s not illegal to read Russian newspapers yet that’s a form of spying. It’s not illegal to fly off a coast in international waters and listen to, and test, the reaction is causes yet that’s a form of spying, too.

corkie on August 3, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Just what is this guy up to?

Global bad guys like the Russian oligarchs, China communists and Iranian mullahs will not likely be gifted with an American leader quite like President Obama in the foreseeable future, so they’re on the move, doing what they can while they can. That’s who they are, what they’re about, what they do. It’s their nature.

troyriser_gopftw on August 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

as someone else said standard rivet joint operation cold war two is now ON …………………

jeffdhurley1 on August 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

To our adversaries: Non Videbunt

Missilengr on August 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM