US: Russian planes flew to California coast
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US: Russian planes flew to California coast

Russia's increased activity in the Pacific -- meant to show strength -- is related to Ukraine, says American air force commander

Illustrative photo of an American F-15 intercepting a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber during a Russian exercise near the west coast of Alaska in 2008. (US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative photo of an American F-15 intercepting a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber during a Russian exercise near the west coast of Alaska in 2008. (US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — The commander of US air forces in the Pacific is reporting a significant increase in activities by Russian planes and ships in the region.

Gen. Herbert Carlisle linked that to the situation in the Ukraine. He said Russia was demonstrating its capabilities and gathering intelligence on US military exercises.

Carlisle said there had been long-range Russian air patrols to the coast of California and a circumnavigation of the US Pacific territory of Guam. He said a US F-15 fighter jet intercepted a Russian strategic bomber that had flown to Guam.

He also reported a sharp increase in Russian air patrols around Japanese islands and Korea.

Carlisle said there was a lot more Russian ship activity too.

He was speaking Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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