RAF Typhoons shadowed the Russian Bear planes, as in this earlier incident in September 2014

CNN: Pentagon considered stopping intercepts of Russian aircraft

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon considered, and then rejected, the idea of stopping routine intercepts of Russian military aircraft flying off the coast of Alaska, because the U.S. intercept flights appeared to have limited deterrent or intelligence value, according to two U.S. defense officials.

While the Russian military flights, usually bomber aircraft, were entering a U.S. "air defense identification zone," they were not entering U.S. airspace, leading to the discussion about whether intercepts should continue, a debate officials routinely have.

The U.S. keeps fighter jets on standby to enter that zone to intercept and monitor the Russian flights, often tracking them, following them, and sometimes taking pictures of them. The U.S. ADIZ generally runs from 12 to 200 miles off the U.S. coastline but is international airspace with freedom of navigation.

Update: Why Did The Pentagon Consider Not Intercepting Russian Aircraft? -- Jonah Bennett, Daily Caller

WNU Editor: Talk about sending the wrong message to Moscow. Now is not the time to change operational policies when it comes to Russian strategic bombers approaching the border.

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