Four Russian aircraft, including a fighter jet and bomber, flew into a buffer zone of international airspace near Alaska Monday, according to a release from the North American Aerospace Defense Command on Tuesday, prompting a handful of U.S. Air Force jets to scramble and intercept them.

The activity was “routine,” according to NORAD, one of half-a-dozen yearly interactions between Russian and NORAD aircraft in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone

“Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” the release said. “This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative. NORAD had anticipated this Russian activity and, as a result of our planning, was prepared to intercept it.”

The aircraft included the Tu-95H Bear bomber and Su-35 fighter, according to the release. Two F-16s, two F-35As, an E-3 Sentry and a KC-135 Stratotanker responded.

“NORAD tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ,” according to the release. “NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as necessary, escorts them from the ADIZ.”

The Russian interaction isn’t thought to be related to any of the aerial object activity over the last couple of weeks, the release added.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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