Home » Aviation » Russian Su-27 Fighter Buzzes U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries Over Black Sea

Russian Su-27 Fighter Buzzes U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries Over Black Sea

A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II maritime patrol aircraft. US Navy Photo

THE PENTAGON — A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft was intercepted at close range by a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter over the Black Sea on Monday.

“This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27’s jet wash,” read a statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.
“The duration of the intercept lasted two hours and 40 minutes.”

The event, first reported by CNN, the Russian fighter came within five feet of the Navy EP-3E, but the Navy spokesperson could not confirm the distance between both planes. The EP-3E Aries II curtailed its mission and returned to base, according to the Navy spokesperson.

This is just the latest in what has become a string of unsafe incidents in the air over the Black Sea. Following the Russian 2014 forced annexation of Crimea and a renewed effort by Moscow to exert its military power in the region, such encounters between U.S. surveillance aircraft and ships and Russian fighter jets have become more frequent.

On November 25, a Russian Su-30 Flanker fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, in a manner the Pentagon called unsafe.

In May a similar incident occurred when a Russian Su-30 also intercepted a P8-A over the Black Sea. Press reports cite Russian defense ministry sources as saying their plane conducted a “greeting maneuver.” Navy officials were reported at the time as calling the May intercept “safe and professional.”

In September, 2016 a Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker flew within 10 feet of Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft, also over the Black Sea.

Russian fighters have also flown dangerously close to U.S. Navy ship operating in international waters in the Black Sea.

In February, two Russian Su-24 aircraft buzzed guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) while it was operating in international waters in the Black Sea. The Navy deemed this incident, “unsafe and unprofessional.”

In April 2014, a pair of Russian Su-24 aircraft buzzed guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75),while it was operating in the Baltic Sea. In a statement released at the time, U.S. European Command expressed “deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers.”

The following is the statement on the intercept from U.S. 6th Fleet.

On Jan. 29, 2018, a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27. This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27’s jet wash. The duration of the intercept lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.

The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.

  • DaSaint

    Another incident. One of these days it will lead to a collision and fatalities.
    I know it shouldn’t happen, but one day someone’s going to light up one of these fighters with a shipboard fire control radar. Then we’ll get the protests from the Russians about unsafe and miscalculations…

  • thebard3

    Remember the incident in 2001 when a Chinese jet collided with a U.S. surveillance plane. I believe the fighter pilot was killed and the U.S. plane landed in China, providing a huge intelligence coup for them.

    • Spencer Allen

      Hardly a “huge intelligence coup” when all sensitive electronics were destroyed and ditched per SOP into the ocean – and to be honest, all that equipment was old as heck anyway at the time, I know, I flew on the same bird out of the sister squadron. They held our people and plane which really gained them zip until all were released back to the US along with the plane.

      • David Oldham

        Did not Bush apologize to the Chinese over the loss of their airman….sad, really sad.

        • tpharwell

          It is one thing to express regret. Another to apologize.

    • RDF

      Landed on Hainan…. Which is china.

    • Hugh

      I heard the Chinese pilot was showing off, including displaying his email address……..

      • publius_maximus_III

        Dey all sometimes hotshots, ours and theirs.

      • publius_maximus_III

        The airlines hire ex-military tanker and transport pilots all the time, fighter pilots not so much. There’s a reason.

  • anthilltiger

    i think we need to send a Military Transgender / Gay negotiation Squad to Moscow to get things Straight?

    • PolicyWonk

      Maybe we should – they might do a substantially better job than the current incumbent.

      That, however, isn’t setting the bar very high!

  • Richard Jonesy

    next time, just send in the LCS to the Black sea, the Russians won’t even bother to sortie since they know the LCS is nothing but a joke

  • DaSaint

    Exactly my point. Paint them with the X-band illuminator.

  • D. Jones

    The Russians are wont to do this sort of behaviour as long as our most fearsome military asset is trapped in a nearly-frozen Montreal harbour!

    • John Locke

      The Russians have been doing this sort of thing since the late 1940’s.
      Nothing new here.

      • Дмитрий Куценко

        The Americans fly to Russia’s borders constantly. Flying even in 90-e years when the Russian military aircraft did not patrol international airspace. Your military only provoke other countries around the world. You insolent. Fly near your continent. Your military provoke and then say “Oh what a bloodthirsty Russia”. Unfortunately the us military, they just want money, so they are doing everything to escalate the situation and trying to extinguish fires with gasoline and firewood. It is dangerous for the world and do your military. I’m not talking about how they supply weapons to terrorists and so on.

        You really don’t understand? Where America is pushing the world to war?
        Russia does not want to fight. Here live the same ordinary people, as in America. In our country all is well. Building roads, hospitals, kindergartens and schools, new residential apartments. In Russia free medical care and for the birth of children, the state gives money. Our President Vladimir Putin cares about his people and we love our President. Us sanctions cause laughter and we understand that a wise man would never have done so, as of now your country is doing. I live in Russia and we read the Western news. We can compare many opinions. Your media is constantly lying. It is sad that your people do not have such a broad Outlook on the world situation.

        • OldSaltUSNR

          So this is what the FSB propaganda has come to? “Russia no fight. Russians good. Americans bad. Americans lie, lie, lie!”

          Oh, for the good ol’ days, when the KGB was competent, and their propagandists a little more logical.

          • Дмитрий Куценко

            The constructive answer you can not give. Very easy to call propaganda. I’m talking about facts, and you any fact not brought.

          • SDW

            Well Dmitri, it comes down to who you think is more trustworthy. In the US there are many sources of information (including RT, run by friends of Vladimir). There is open discussion, not always very polite, where policies and decisions are discussed and people decide if they agree or not. There is free access to the internet and other alternative sources of information, both true and accurate as well as hate-filled. We have heard what you have said and heard it a long time ago too.
            Compare this to Russia. Where are your sources of information that claim that Vladimir Vladimirovich is not acting in your best interests? Where are the opposition candidates that are taken away and kept from speaking? Do you really believe that everyone loves President Putin like some sort of father? Who are the hundreds in the streets protesting the lack of real democracy? They are not just in Moscow and St. Petersburg but many cities across Russia.
            If you are an honest man you can see the difference. I choose democracy.

          • Paul Hunt

            Democracy as you apparently think of it might well have already failed.

            How do you know that your vote counts?

            Whom do you believe to tell you the truth? Irrespective of what arguing and low-grade civil disobedience is allowed, there is the question of plain facts.

            Where are you getting those from?


            Fox News?

            Elected or appointed officials in the various levels of government?

            I’m sure everyone here would be interested in knowing your sources of unvarnished truth — so that we can subscribe.

          • SDW

            There is no source of absolute truth–certainly not something you can subscribe to as one subscribes to a blog or on-line newspaper. What it takes is paying attention to multiple sources, examining their record and what their interests are, and, in my case, actively accumulating and applying >60 years of relevant experience and knowledge gained from practical epistemology.

            In these days when any idiot can set up a blog and call himself a journalist (and many do), one can find virtually anything on-line somewhere except a perfect source of truth regarding human endeavors. (Ditto for talk radio!)
            Keeping that in mind, opinions and predictions are fine but they aren’t facts even when dressed up that way. Accepting or rejecting an assertion of fact according to whether it matches your world-view is toxic. Also, at various times and places seeking truth will require that you put faith in someone or even an institution. This isn’t a bad thing unless it means signing over your intellectual proxy to someone or something and giving up critical thinking.
            Good luck.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            True, but I was not confronting any “facts”, either.

      • IssacBabel

        But the Soviets were so much better at it, they’re grand kids are pikers.
        Uncle Joe would have knocked off Assad & Co. by now, and put in
        someone competent. Putin must of missed his Spanish Civil War

  • DefTactics

    Since those Russian jerks like to play games,why not have a couple of F-15C’s on the EP’s 3 o’clock ? The Russians know the surveillance plane is there. Why not give them a little surprise ?

    • Черный капюшон

      Then both ep-3 and F-15 will fall down like zapped flies. Bring it on. Or, better yet, fly somewhere else, FAR from Russian borders.

      • OldSaltUSNR

        An attack in international air space is an act of war. “Buzzing” another aircraft with a military aircraft is a hostile act, bordering on war. You’re not advocating that Russia should declare war on the USA? If you are, I can guarantee that you’re not a Russian military officer, or anyone involved in Russian command and control that knows anything about the US military’s real capabilities.

        • Черный капюшон

          Why attack? No, not attack, dumbass. It’s just that all their avionics and electronics will burn and they will turn into flying tin cans with fuel and meat inside.

        • Черный капюшон

          Oh, and your “military capabilities” are only based on attacks on 3rd world shitholes. Such great power you need to attack Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or bomb Kosovo. I’m trembling with fear! Not really.

          You never had equal fight. Never got smacked really hard in your blatant snout. So shut up and sit down.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Better get those stokers for the Bros. Karamsov’s boilers, I mean the Kusnetzov, back from shore leave (cough, cough — waves hand to clear air of smoke). You’re going to need them, Citizen Kapyushun.

            Russian technical superiority: Brings back the smokescreen, no need for carrier escorts to make one.

          • Черный капюшон

            Just funny to read all that shaming crap about Kuznetsov and its smoke, but never I’ve seen any news outlet mentioning even once about 6 Kashtan-M CIWS installed on it that can turn F-22 into swiss cheese in less than 1 second. Or about 2nd ship that escorted Kuznetsov, the Piotr Velikiy, a freaking nuclear warship. You can read wikipedia on both of them, and believe me, information here is already outdated. Take a good think if you want to actually deal with all the massive firepower. Continuous process of modernisation never stops.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Sorry, Chernobyl, couldn’t help myself after your bursting-with-pride “Russian technical superiority” comment. Granted, that Piotr Velikiy is one dangerous looking Man-o-War, Tovarish. But how many of them do you have like it?

            What I’m guessing is drawing far more attention at our Pentagon these days is not the shrinking Russian surface fleet, but your very quiet and very deadly subsurface fleet…. especially that new NUCK-u-lar tipped torpedo, reminiscent of the Japanese Long Lance that was such a terror in the Pacific in WW-II. Maybe time to ask our long-time Asian partner to get back into the game, designing and building what they know best.

          • Черный капюшон

            Good luck on that lol. They’re not your pawns anymore. They will not die for america.
            And don’t call me “Tovarish”, motherfucker. Your best comrades are hyenas. Stick to them.

          • IssacBabel

            Little know fact,the pilot of the EP-3 was Mathias Rust, seconded from the
            the Luftwaffe, he was just trying to relive the good old days.

        • Paul Hunt

          Really, Old Salt. You embarrass us. Our “real capabilities” have been on display for the world to observe since the first Gulf War.

          I think you’d be the one to learn something — about the capabilities of opposing forces — were we to go to war with a military outfit (or outfits) that had technological parity with us.

          That said forces have seen our capabilities and found them lacking is perhaps one reason a global shift is afoot.

          The military and geostrategic losses we have experienced (and are still experiencing) are not propaganda. They’re real.

          Fact: a dwindling percentage of age-appropriate prospective recruits can even pass the physical for enlistment.

          Fact: without conscription, the US will never be able to field a standing military large enough to win a major war in one theater, let alone two.

          Fact: Americans will NOT support conscription to fight a war against Russia or China.

          Fact: talking tough changes nothing in the realm of facts.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            “You embarrass us”

            Who is “us”? The Russian FSB? The DNC? Some American university? Some lefty Congressional office? A Marxist leaning, socialist think tank? Where do you, as a “former Marine” (i.e. no such thing exists) actually post your garbage from?

            Whoever you are, “Paul”, you probably ain’t “us”.

            I have no illusions about the “opposing force” capabilities. I am very concerned about that, in particular capital weapon system development, force readiness (from a logistics perspective), and manpower levels. I have a little more faith than you do about US armed force capabilities. At the platoon level or division level, the US is the best, hands down. As I said in another post, in spite of deliberate acts by Democrat presidents to degrade our military capabilities for 16 of the past 24 years, or the FACT that snowflakes have been seeded up and down the command structure, the US is still the best.

            Now that we appear to have a competent CinC and SECDEF, we’re going to get a whole lot better in a hurry.

            Regarding manpower, I could tell you about a son-in-law, two-tour veteran Marine who left the service, went to college, and attempted to return to lead Marines as an officer, and who was rejected by the Obama Administration. I could tell you about his FAC and special forces buddies who also left the service, but would have stayed with competent leadership. The US military has no problem raising the forces it needs, if the ROE’s don’t put Marine officer’s in jail for protecting their Marines and killing the enemy.

            You’re “facts” are direct from the political, snowflake left. I don’t need them. They aren’t any part of reality. They are a disinformation campaign.

          • Paul Hunt

            I like snow, but not too much. My house is in southwestern Ohio — rather than just outside Chicago, where I was born and raised — for that reason. I bought about twenty minutes from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base because I have such pleasant memories of visiting my grandparents (i.e., my mother’s parents) there as a kid.

            The husband/father of the family renting the house is an Army officer — in Ohio for a three year stint to pursue his Ph.D. in a program sponsored by WPAFB.

            I am by no means an enemy of the military. They pay my monthly mortgage and property tax.

            I have of late become an enemy of the civilians who direct the military — on both sides of the political spectrum.

            As for my being a left-leaner, politically, I hope that you don’t think it is exclusively the province of lefties to be against unnecessary wars.

            If so, you should read some of Pat Buchanan’s articles. There’s very little that he writes with which I am not in agreement.

            Maybe Pat — as a national figure — has to mind his language. I do not.

            The people who are steering us toward war with Russia have a record of losing against far weaker opponents that speaks for itself. Their judgment in nearly all matters pertaining to the military is beyond bad — it is is dreadful.

            Dreadful means, in this case, to be feared and avoided.

            It is the bad judgment of American politicians and so-called diplomats that is to be feared and avoided — not the Russians.

            If this belief makes me a “snowflake,” then I guess I like snow more than I thought.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            Well, thanks for your serious comments. We may agree to disagree, but at least you’re civil and forthright in yours.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            Well, if I misread you and your intentions, my apologies. Regards.

  • Sam

    Time to buzz some of their aircraft. They have this idea that the U.S. is coward and will not stand up to them. They really need to know that we still have air superiority.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Just a thought here.

      What if next time we send up an old Neptune, one resurrected from the scrap heap out in the desert, stripped of any surveillance equipment but painted to look brand spanking new. It would be flown by a one-man crew, strapped into an ejection seat with an explosive escape hatch retrofit directly above the pilot, primed and ready to go.

      This time, when dat pesky wabbit Sukhoi zigs, he ZAGS, then punches out to be quickly picked up by a waiting patrol vessel below, one conveniently on station taping the whiole encounter in living color. He could be enjoying a late breakfast back in Varna by 9:00 am, and the crew of the rescue vessel enjoying a well-deserved bowl of Gedunk..

      Let the games begin!

    • Pacemaker4

      Why dont you escort your spy planes? oh right usa is broke

      • Jason Moyer

        Spending it all on bloated government and almost useless federal angencies. Add in open boarders and free everything for millions and federal foreign aid to countries that hate us or dont need it equals broke

        • life form

          “borders” not “boarders”. Also the grammar on the last sentence is pretty shaky. Your English is not bad though; much better than my Russian.

          • Jason Moyer

            My grammer sucks no doubt about it. Never has been my strongest subject.

      • muzzleloader

        A Canadian, great. Don’t you have flowers to pick?

        • Pacemaker4

          sorry buckwheat…. 1970’s red tory here.
          Not the Neocon type whatsoever…I have principles and ethics.

      • IssacBabel

        In the good old days the USSR, would shoot down the occasional reece plane.
        If a Soviet pilot had run out of ammo, he would ram.
        Now the x-SSR is run by right deviationists, somewhere Lenin is weeping.

        • Pacemaker4

          Interesting time. NATO is crumbling…. and the RISE of the SCO. China and Russia are the global cops almost.

          • IssacBabel

            In the good old days (’78) it would have only taken GSFG 8-9 days to reach Paris, NATO was always a speed bump. Assuming the Poles attacked the Germans, instead of the Soviets. China is just implenting the Monroe Doctrine,
            with socialist characteristics.

          • Pacemaker4

            yeah its a pretty clear path… Col macgregor (us commander during PGwar during Battle of 73 Easting, who finished off the Iraqi tanks in 20mins.
            He says regarding a baltic war:
            “in a head-to-head confrontation pitting the equivalent of a U.S. armored division against a likely Russian adversary, the U.S. division would be defeated.
            “Defeated isn’t the right word,” Macgregor told me last week. “The right word is annihilated.” The 21-slide presentation features four battle scenarios, all of them against a Russian adversary in the Baltics — what one currently serving war planner on the Joint Chiefs staff calls “the most likely warfighting scenario we will face outside of the Middle East.”

          • Paul Hunt

            But wouldn’t you agree that this scenario is one we will face only if we initiate it?

            I see no reason for Russia to do the initiating. They have too much to lose — living in theater and all.

            It’s my guess that any such point of conflict will be a result of something — military or economic — that the United States does (intentionally) to provoke war.

            But, then, the US ought not to be shocked when the Russians choose to park their unmanned nuclear torpedos along critical portions of American coastline and detonate them.

            We will have asked for it.

          • Pacemaker4

            agree…well said

          • Pacemaker4

            as for…
            China does 20-25% of the TPP countries GDP. Japan vietnam korea australia etc. So if you want to take an economic hit like that…go ahead mess with them all you want.
            They truly are the factory for the globe.

          • SDW

            In the hollow army days of the 70s a couple of Girl Scout troops would have given NATO a run for it. By 1988 the situation was much different. No matter who figured to have the advantage, neither side wanted to invade the other. NATO didn’t want to because it would ruin business–no less the entire European continent. Russia/USSR (the WP was irrelevant) didn’t want to invade NATO because they were too busy invading their “friends”.

            All this makes the Russian protestations about the ‘huge NATO threat of encirclement ” of a whole brigade or two patently silly. The fact that nearly all of the former SSRs (except Byelorussia*) have joined or would like to join NATO bothers Vladi and his co-conspirators because it makes their neo-imperialist fantasies harder to achieve. The world’s democracies will wait and watch Russia collapse all over again. We all will be lucky if it happens at all peacefully. There will be conflict but not really a civil war. It will be more of a gang war with armor.

            *Byelorussia is the Russia mini-me hardly keeping its original language alive. Russians “liberated” it near the end of WW2 and promptly embarked on ethnic cleansing to free up land for the “real Rus” who then settled it and started removing the Belarusian identity and language from public use.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            The Russian’s have GREAT comedians. LOL!

          • life form

            Really? Because i thought NATO just added new members, up to 29 now. Started off with 12.
            The CSTO started with six members , and still has…six.

          • Pacemaker4

            SCO just add pakistan and china… how many people is that?
            Why did the usa try to join? they were politely denied. Along with Israel.
            Turkey is still pending…NATO’s 2nd largest military.
            You need to read more…
            if you didnt see… SCO’s eight full members account for approximately half of the world’s population, a quarter of the world’s GDP, and about 80% of Eurasia’s landmass.

          • life form

            I don’t contest the SCO is adding members. I simply point out that describing NATO as “crumbling” is mondo inaccurate. NATO is confined to the North Atlantic region, but has 29 members, almost all of the North Atlantic nations except Russia and Sweden a couple others, and Sweden is some kind of partner and considering fully joining.

            I suppose it is also true that despite the self imposed geographical limitation of membership, the collective NATO nations are much richer in both wealth and GDP than are the collective SCO members, though NATO probably has only about 70% of the SCO’s population. NATO isn’t “crumbling”.

            Yeah I saw the Wikipedia article after I read your post. It is a good point well made.
            “In 2017, SCO’s eight full members account for approximately half of the
            world’s population, a quarter of the world’s GDP, and about 80% of
            Eurasia’s landmass.”


        • SDW

          If Volodya Ilyich is crying now it is because he can’t stand the heat.

    • Jamie9260

      not over there we don’t I don’t want to piss on any ones parade we only have air superiority against militantly weak countries which Russia and China are not Russia for instance has been developing systems for 60+ years of repelling large numbers of aircraft and did not stop for 20 year break to stomp around the middle east and can read our mail?

      • Sam

        You really don’t know what we have been developing.

      • tpharwell

        A good reason for not pissing off our nearest and strongest NATO ally.

    • Дмитрий Куценко

      What then is excellence? American pilot flies to another continent to the border of another state and demonstrates his or her weapon. This folly, this is a provocation and stupidity. Your military wants to get more money and therefore are satisfied with such incidents around the world. Your country is fueling the war on our planet. Would you like it if near your home every day, walked a man with a gun? It is dangerous for the world and do your military. I’m not talking about how they supply weapons to terrorists and so on.
      Why the American people tolerate it? Because the American media are not telling the truth, just lie.

      I live in Russia and we read the Western news. We can compare many opinions. Your media is constantly lying.

      • Sam

        It’s called international air space for a reason. We do have people all around us with weapons citizens who abide by pur laws and we aren’t afraid of our government that we can’t express ourselves because we have these freedoms.
        We aren’t fueling the war on our planet we are just trying to defend these freedoms
        I am sorry that you don’t share these freedoms. Your military is the one that fuel the war on our planet by being so aggressive like this aircraft that buzzed our aircraft. This Navy plane was not aggressive and was following international laws and protocol. So you have to do as we do here and disregard the media here and if you really want to be free come to America and see for yourself how great freedom is!

        • Дмитрий Куценко

          Tell that to the people who your country killed in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries. This is the achievements of the military of your country. The freedom to kill? Freedom to dictate and interfere in the internal Affairs of other countries?
          Listen to conversations around the world, to pay the opposition in different countries, to organize a coup, overthrow legitimate governments, to sell arms to the terrorists, cover drug trafficking (e.g., in Afghanistan). Your freedom is based on humiliation of other Nations.
          The whole world knows that the US itself invented a reason to attack Vietnam, the U.S. hadnt evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the US killed civilians in Yugoslavia, NATO destroyed Libya. US policy has resulted in the emergence of ISIS. U.S. trying to split Syria into pieces. U.S. trying to split Syria into pieces. The US has liberated Raqqa that 80% of the city is destroyed. In this town now you can’t live the city just yet.
          When Your country has sponsored a coup in Ukraine, fascists in Kiev threatened to kill people in Crimea and Donbas. The people of Crimea are happy to return to Russia. And the people of Donbass do not recognize the Nazis in Kiev. These fascists want to kill, but they love your country America and say that you will help them.
          What is good for the world did your country? Gave the world the dollar and iPhone? You media constantly lie to justify American war crimes around the world. This is your freedom – to be deceived.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            Good Russian propaganda. No one does it better.

            We’re all simply shocked by how great Russia is, and how awful America has been, in this world. You can tell by the $Billions of rubles Russian contributes to other countries of the world, for all the Russian medical missions, the relief missions that the Russian Navy has done with Tsunami’s, Hurricanes, Earthquakes,and other catastrophes where Russian raced there first. You know, all those great things that Russia is known for. (Well, we’re still looking for the documentation on all of that stuff, but we KNOW it’s got to be somewhere.)

            People of the world know that American troops coming to their world are there to help, to defend, to heal, to be a force for good. NO ONE looks forward to Russian troops, because Russian troops bring oppression. Russian invaded Georgia and the Crimea because the people who lived there wanted nothing to do with Russia. Ask a Pole. Ask a Chek, a Slave, a east German, a Hungarian, ask the Baltic country’s citizens, if they are yearning for Russian troops to “help them”?

            LOL, you are sad, Ivan.

          • Paul Hunt

            The Russians have taken in upwards of 1 million refugees from Donbas.

            They have meanwhile continued to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents who have not left Donbas.

            They have provided the vast majority of humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria.

            Tough guys like you just can’t get enough of spouting nonsense.

            But the world has long since caught up with the disparities between words and deeds where American bluster is concerned.

            I’m an American. I’m a former Marine officer. You can take your stock propaganda accusations elsewhere.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            I don’t know if you’re a super-duper Marine-Recon-SEAL-GREEN BERET super hero, or not. I do know that every Marine I served with in my cross-assigned duties, and every retired Marine, tells me there are no “former Marines”, so you’re an odd creature.

            You write like a “lefty”. You talk like a “lefty”. You criticize my comments to the Russian propaganda posters. Gee wiz, I have no idea who you are, but you’re not “a Marine”. Maybe you’re a Spenser Rapone kind of Marine.

            I’m not a “tough guy”, nor do I play one on TV , but disparaging me as such certainly beefs up your arguments AGAINST doing anything that might involve war to defend the interests of the United States. (Hint: “ad hominem” arguments are logically false by their very construction.)

            Yeah, the US military has a few problems, after being lead for 16 of the past 24 years by leftists Democrat Presidents. We will get better, but we are STILL better than the Russians on their best day. I’m a more concerned about the Chinese, as their espionage, their military budget and command economy allows for a faster military build up than the Russians can accomplish.

            But then, I’m not talking to a “former Marine”, but likely, a leftist propagandist. So, why bother.

          • life form

            Hey, easy on the lefties! There are still a few of us old style Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, George Mc Govern, liberals left. The new ones are busy watching Fareed Zakaria signal virtue on CNN, but there are a few crusty old liberals left alive.

            Lefty does not mean “totalitarian boot licker”.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            Okay. I’ll give you that.

          • Paul Hunt

            “super-duper Marine-Recon-SEAL-GREEN BERET super hero”

            You were saying about ad hominem arguments?

            Meanwhile, since you are apparently curious to know more about me, I am indeed a former Marine — First Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division, 1984-86, serving first under Lieutenant Colonel Wheeler Baker, and then later under George W.T. O’Dell.

            Marines who cling to the past — especially when they are no longer receiving pay or benefits — are the ones who need to adjust their language of self-description, not me.

            Politically, I am libertarian. I’m certain that if you check the more or less perpetual antiwar planks in the libertarian platform you’ll find that I’m not so odd.

            Want to see an odd former Marine? Look at Robert Mueller.

            My main concern — since I’m living and working outside the country — is that the US-Russia relationship has inexplicably grown worse today than it was in the Soviet era. This is not Russia’s doing. They have many times appealed for closer relations, only to be rebuffed by our inbred state department and DoD.

            What are we so afraid of?

            I assure you, it is not our spyplanes being buzzed by their jet fighters. Nor is it elections interference.

            It’s economics — and the shift in power and influence that comes with it.

            We fear losing control of energy distribution and and the international market for weapons sales.

            And we have good reason to fear that there will be stiff competition from Russia in both domains.

            But this does not justify the full-court US-NATO military press.

            We need to learn how to get along in a world that pushes back against our economics as well as our so-called values.

            The latter, as evidenced by the front page news, might not be all that much worth defending — much less promulgating.

            No less a Marine than James Mattis recently remarked that he needs the military to be more lethal, not more reflective of diversity along lines of gender and sexual preference.

            There comes a time, does there not, when actual values matter as much as (or more than) national identity?

            You choose the former. The latter is merely what you’re dealt at birth.

            Viewed from this perspective, I’m betting you have more in common with the average Russian than with the average American.

          • Sam

            You are reading and listening to propaganda. You have to work through all this crap from all media. There are other countries that are jealous of the U.S. so naturally they will produce fake news including Russia. I live here and know that our media reports fake news because there is an economic picture for them not to mention control.

          • Дмитрий Куценко

            I feel sorry for you, because you pour in the ears of lies and there is no alternative.

          • Sam

            I will go being free and you will live under oppression. I feel sorry for you.

          • Дмитрий Куценко

            All the best to you.

          • Sam

            I wish and hope for the best for you.

          • SDW

            Dmitri, a question– invading other countries that didn’t like Soviet (mostly Russian) repression used to be called the “Brezhnev Doctrine”. Is there a name (“Putin Doctrine”?) for Vladi Vladimirovich’s policy of invading Russia’s neighbors?
            By the way… automatically calling opponents “Fascists” sounds rather funny. We spent decades calling those that we opposed “Commies” even though a large number of them were simply murderous thugs. We had our list of “friends” too. People like the Shah were accepted just because they didn’t like you. It doesn’t work for long. Even Vladi’s Club for Homicidal Despots will crumble. Assad may not be the first but he sure won’t be the last.

          • Paul Hunt

            “Assad may not be the first but he sure won’t be the last.”

            I think you need to reread, rethink, and revise this line for logic.

            Aside from that, your reply is just more of the same tough guy talk that has come to typify the US response to losses.

            We are losing, you know.

            Check the scores:

            Georgia = Russia and South Ossetians winners
            Iraq = Iran winner
            Syria = Russia and Iran winner
            Ukraine = Russia-backed rebels winners

            Maybe the US military ought to find a different means of distinguishing itself.

            Maybe US politicians and foreign policy experts ought to do with their quest for world domination what you need to do with that sentence up above.

          • SDW

            “tough guy talk ” hasn’t been ascribed to me since high school and even then it was sarcastic.

            To whom are you referring when you write “We are losing…”? In two examples you cite I don’t recall the US having a role, beyond interested observer. As far as Iraq, Syria, and Iran go, I don’t know who is “winning” or not since I haven’t been able to figure out just what our interest is and how to keep score. They have been successful in involving countries around the world in the tribal and sectarian wars that have kept that region going for centuries. Just what Russia has won is arguable. Have they won a client state? Maybe, but they chose a real stinker. (I choose not to use language like that of President Trump–however applicable.)

            The US military distinguishes itself in many ways including following orders. They are not going to usurp civilian control–even of an often hapless set of politicians. To say that these politicians are seeking “world domination” sounds like the premise for another Austin Powers movie. It’s the most tepid and hesitant of such quests that I have ever seen or heard of.
            Your apparent affinity for President Assad is the most concerning. What is it you admire? His leadership? benevolence? ability to make the trains run on time? his efficiency in initiating widespread urban renewal? Perhaps you believe the reports of gassing his countrymen are all made up? Maybe they were filmed on the same set as the moon landings? Have the black helicopters been repainted before dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo?

        • Дмитрий Куценко

          US accuses Syria of using chemical weapons, and refuse to go to the crash site and to take soil samples for analysis. Why? Because soil will show a different picture. 2008 When Georgia killed Russian peacekeepers and killed the people of North Ossetia – your media wrote about Russia’s aggression. The west media used to lie.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            “Russia aggression”: Well, that’s because Russia invaded Georgia. There were no internationally authorized “Russian peacekeepers” there. It would be like having US Marines invading Moscow, and then calling them “peacekeepers”.

            You can call your kiddies with guns anything you want, but if they’re not Georgian, and they’re wearing a Russian uniform while in Georgia (and especially, when they are NOT wearing uniforms, which is another favorite Russian ploy), then they are “invaders”, not “peacekeepers”.

            But, I guess only the TRUE, faithful Russian-Pravda-type media knows the truth. (Hint: They get their “truth” from the Kremlin.)

            Once upon a time, say 1989-1991, you were a free man. Yes, it was chaotic, but you were free. And no, America did not attack Russia then while you were sorting out your government, any more than America tried to rule the world at the end of WWII, when in fact, the USA could certainly have done so.

            You need a bit of reality and history mixed in with your propaganda, buddy.

          • Дмитрий Куценко

            It is very funny. 17 April 2008, the President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity said that Georgian military units tightened to the borders of his Republic. Stood on the border of the Russian peacekeepers. In the second half of July, the armed forces of Georgia and the United States held joint military exercises “Immediate response” (which, according to military observer Zaur Alborov, simulated an attack on South Ossetia). In late July, began skirmishes between Georgians and Ossetians. On 7 August, the Georgian army tried to take Prissie the heights around Tskhinvali, this attack was repulsed[136]. On the same day the American Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft reported to Washington that the Georgian troops, including units with units of “Grad” are moving in the direction of South Ossetia. On August 7, 2008, the Secretary of security Council of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich said: “across the border with South Ossetia observed the activity of Georgian troops. All of this suggests that Georgia begins large-scale aggression against our country.” Next was the attack of Georgia and the killing of peaceful Ossetians.

            Now the former President (2008) of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvilli is in exile and will not return to their homeland, otherwise there he would be arrested.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Tell me again, which country was it that sent tank columns into Georgia through a mountain tunnel? What sort of “foreign aid” were they bringing to their neighbors to the south?

          • Mmjmm

            Ahh…typical Russian “What Aboutism” when they can’t discuss the issue at hand.

          • Paul Hunt

            There is no Whataboutism to it. The Americans assisted Georgia in its invasion of South Ossetia. The Russians pushed them back out. The Georgians were routed. Americans — as in Cuba back in the early 60s — did absolutely nothing to change the outcome. They made a grab, were repelled, and backed off.

            Then they complained about being beaten.

            It’s been going on like that for decades with US foreign policy and military adventurism. It’s gotten (and is getting) a lot of innocent people killed. And it needs to stop.

            Just because it makes you feel tough to talk aggressively doesn’t mean you get to claim victory in a string of losses.

            I assure you: none of the foreign forces or civilians who lost loved ones in these debacles would argue that Americans did them any favors.

          • Mmjmm

            What does any of that have to do with flying in international airspace?

          • Paul Hunt

            It has nothing directly to do with flying in international airspace. It has to do with your accusation that the Russian poster was engaging in whataboutism by mentioning our involvement in Georgia. It was a direct response to that accusation.


            Because the allegation of whataboutism is, in itself, an exercise in changing the topic.

            You might have simply directed him back to the topic, but you chose to allege whataboutism – maybe because that is what is done these days rather than to maintain the topic one believes must not be departed from or switched.

            As you failed to maintain the topic, I defended the Russian’s position on regards to American involvement in Georgia.

            And I’d do it again.

          • Mmjmm

            “It has nothing directly to do with flying in international airspace.”


          • Paul Hunt

            “And I’d do it again.”


      • OldSaltUSNR

        We just like to kill people and break things, and an available SU-27 is as good a place as any to start.

        (Do y’all think this Ruskie understands sarcasm? Oh, well, no matter. Can’t fix “stupid”, anyhow.)

        • Дмитрий Куценко

          You have to do is respond with sarcasm and all sorts of nonsense. Because no adequate arguments for protection you have not. Your country everywhere suggests a mess. Come and Iraq come to Syria, come to Serbia, you will see that the people of these countries hate Americans, because of your criminal policy in relation to these countries. America shamefully provokes a tiny poor country of North Korea. They are happy that they have nuclear weapons, otherwise would be bombed your military their country, as it did with Libya. Your President says that America liberated Syria from ISIL, but why the people of Syria welcomes the Russian President, waving the flags of Russia and Syria?! Where are the flags of the United States?! The flags of the United States in the territory of the bases for training militants. The whole world knows but are silent for fear of sanctions of America.

          • muzzleloader

            What a crock. I guess you are a product of the young Octoberists, and the Komsomol youth group.
            I suppose you still think the Warsaw Pact is alive and well, and that the Soviet armed forces are the Guardians of the Rodina against western imperialism?
            It is 2018, and you sound like an apparatchik from 1975.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            ” … people of these countries hate Americans ..”

            But of course. They are Muslims. They hate Jews. They hate Israel. They hate any country which opposes driving every last Jew into the Med to their death. Russian has no problem with Mussie antisemitism, and in fact based on Russian history and current events, has a good deal of sympathy with their position.

            I won’t bother discussing the difference in the American approach versus the Russian approach to warfare (Russians kill women and children and bomb cities first …), as you are either ignorant of the facts, or more likely, would glory in your lies.

            You can’t change history with 100 false posts on USNI. But have fun with that; you’re persuading no one.

          • Paul Hunt

            But you are?

            Check civilian deaths in Mosul, Fallujah, and Raqqa.


        • Paul Hunt

          Old Salt, you’re a loser.

          As an American who has lived and worked in the UAE for most of the past decade, I can at least say that not one nickle of my earnings has been diverted from me to the accounts of the federal government — and, hence, to the US Department of State or the Department of Defense.

          As a fellow American, I too am a loser. I just haven’t paid as much as you have for the privilege of saying so.

          You can’t fix stupid.


      • tpharwell

        You make a good point here, Dmitri. It is one I have raised repeatedly in respect to the resumption of Russian bomber flights off the coasts of North America. I ask the same question.

        • Дмитрий Куценко

          From 1991 to 2007 long-range aviation of Russia did not fly, unlike the US air force. You all this time 16 years engaged in intimidation. Russia is back and now competes with the United States. But you know that the black sea is an inland sea rather than open ocean. The US and NATO for many years conducting patrols near Russian borders. Flights United States much more and more intense, therefore, in 2014, the Russian aircraft began to fly over the Gulf of Mexico, in response to regular flights USA over the black sea. The escalation and provocation does America.

          • SDW

            I wonder if you remember 1990 and 1991. It was great! The US pulled its military almost completely out of Europe–even more than the host countries wanted. Russians, Poles, and others could move freely without fear of being shot leaving their own country. There was a bad side too. The nomenclatura (номенклатурой) was rightfully removed from power but they were replaced by the oligarchs and siloviki (силовики). Russian resources and industry were divided between friends and relatives of the powerful and the Russian people were made poor when they should have shared the wealth. Free and independent journalism was crushed. Elections are like in the soviet days with only one candidate selected by the powerful.

            The US was not and is not trying to intimidate Russia but we did not pay enough attention to Russian pride and lack of experience with democracy. I hope it is not too late but, like before glasnost and perestroika, the information flow is kept in the hands of powerful men that don’t want the people to think for themselves.

            If you have free access to the internet then you see that US politics is not very calm right now. Can you imagine the same freedom to call Vladimir Vladimirovich bad names in the comments to a newspaper article accusing him of incompetence and worse? If you don’t have free access to the internet then you know what I have said is true.

            Also, I don’t like to disappoint you but there is a fundamental difference between the Black Sea and Lake Baikal. Basically, Russia shares the Black Sea coastline with numerous other countries. There is no Russian (or Turkish, Bulgarian, etc.) ownership that extends beyond 12 miles from land and sometimes even less.

          • life form

            two thumbs up

          • tpharwell

            Once again, compliments. I wish my Russian was as good as your English, though I would want it to be better still. Indeed, I am justly proud that our USAF did not crumble and fall apart after that world-ending event, the collapse of the Soviet Union. I am also very happy to see that Russia survived it, and as you say, has come through alright. That her air force is up to running long range bomber drills in the Gulf of Mexico is an impressive testament to Russian technology, the endurance of Russian aircraft, the bravery of their crews, and the nerve of their leaders, in aiming, as you say, to hold a loaded gun to the head of the American people.

            Same old lumbering aircraft. Same youthful, obedient, unquestioning crews. Only, newer, more fearsome weapons potentially on board, against which we Americans have no defense, having allowed them to come as close as they do. That if you ask me, is a pretty serious threat. Much worse than a mere “provocation” of the sort we tend to ignore, like this intercept over the Black Sea. It leads me to wonder if perhaps the next time we find one of these Tupelovs over the Grand Banks, we should bring it in for inspection, at say, Bangor International: “International Airspace”, or no “International Airspace”. What say you ?

            As for the inland sea you mention, please keep in mind that it was not we who sailed across it to begin that other disaster, the Crimean War. We had no part in that. I deeply deplore those who did. All. And I should rather hope that our military presence there as a NATO ally would serve as a moderating influence, rather than a provocation, to discourage anything like it from ever happening again.

            In that respect, we come as friends. If we are not seen as such by most Russians, then that is of great disappointment to me; but I can understand it, what with all the wars your people are fighting in the region and the loss of life that has resulted from them.

      • kye154

        You are very correct in your assessment, regarding American conduct, and there are many other people in the world who would agree with you too, In 1960, President Eisenhower warned us Americans about this problem, but nothing was ever corrected since that time. It is really like a lot of other problems affecting America. They pay through their nose to support their military, but can’t afford good health care, or good education, or good infrastructures, or much of anything else, and are running a $20 trillion debt. They like to talk tough, but in reality, they are mindless sheep who follow and mock the daily political dictum. Its a good prelude for a national crash and burn scenerio, like the French did in 1789. Just hope they don’t nuke the rest of the world in the process, when the nation collapses.

    • Paul Hunt

      Do we?

      Where is your evidence of this? Some (paid) military “expert” who drew a big chart with pictures of aircraft and purported numbers for the two countries?

      Are you people really this gullible?

      If you’re really itching for a fight, I suggest (as in prize-fighting) that you schedule a few warm-ups: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and such places as that.

      When you’ve won those, then maybe take on the Russians.

      Or the Chinese.

      • Sam

        You are ignorant to the facts. You need to keep your pie hole shut until you know where of you speak! This the problem, people who don’t know what they are talking about say things as you are saying. I don’t want war like everyone else but you can’t sit idle, like the previous administration, and allow these countries to think that they can over step their boundaries. We are a Super Power and if we don’t flex our muscle they will think that they can overtake us.
        So don’t speak when you don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Paul Hunt

          Please feel free to share the facts that would change my mind regarding our pattern of (futile) aggression globally.

          I am willing to consider as fact anything that is fact — as opposed to more of the same nonsense that you have written above.

          I mean, did we win in one of the aforementioned engagements without my realizing it?

          Has Iran been put in check anywhere where it was our desire to do so?

          Has Russia been deterred by our mighty military from pursuing its regional interests?

          What that comes from my pie hole is not observation of fact?

          And what makes you so defensive on behalf of beliefs that have little (apparent) basis in reality?

  • The_Usual_Suspect61

    Tuck an F-18 or an F-22 up close to the EP-3, so it shows up as just one ship, then paint it and lock onto it with the fighter’s radar.

    • OldSaltUSNR

      Here’s how this works.

      The US Ambassador talks to the Russian foreign minister. Our military attache talks to his Russian counterpart. They explain that due to prior risky and threatening airmanship by Russian pilots, American military pilots are directed to consider any approach by a foreign military aircraft at less than 2 NM to be a hostile act. Second, American commanders now have predefined ROE’s to defend American military aircraft from such hostile acts.

      Then back it up. It’s Putin’s move, but once the shooting starts, it’ll be pretty tough to stop the escalation.

      • Paul Hunt

        And then they do likewise with our intercepts.

        So you want war, then?

        My advice, Old Salt: learn something new, and soon.

    • Paul Hunt

      That’s a great idea. We can even move to within five feet of the spy-plane — spare the Russians the trouble of scaring us.

      You guys are always thinking so……..outside the box.

      • The_Usual_Suspect61

        So, smart guy, what would you do? It seems as if flying unescorted and lodging protests is not solving the problem. Enlighten us.

        • Paul Hunt

          I guess I would do what we are doing already — bitch to anyone who cares enough to listen. Alternatively, we could get on better footing with our near-peer rivals.

          What could it hurt?

  • publius_maximus_III

    Five feet is basically a collision. I hope we have the tracks of both aircraft recorded up to the intercept and beyond, clearly showing who was the instigator. Not like we could win a court settlement or anything, but next time if we take “defensive” actions, might be handy to show our allies.

    • Pacemaker4

      its not a collision. Flyiing spyplanes 1000’s of miles from your country is instigation
      Youre just sore you have an enemy you cant push around.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Hey, I genuinely like da Poot. His little poots, no so much. Strimyanoya, сукин сын.

        Apologies, I see that you are Canukian.

        • SDW

          Can’t you tell that Canada is cowering in paralytic fear that they will be invaded by the US? Russia would have you believe that the US is ready and willing to invade anyone anytime. (The only North American invasions are of the southern US–of Florida in the winter by Canadians and year-round by Mexicans.)

      • muzzleloader

        Don’t you have flowers to pick?

        • Pacemaker4

          Picking flowers is for the NATO military. All the real warriors saw the writing on the wall. Now you’re going to have gay/transgender women filling the ranks.

          • Donald Carey

            Who’s your grounds-keeper? Has he been digging in your back yard lately?

          • muzzleloader

            For a country that has less than 80 combat aircraft and a navy with a total of 12 frigates, you don’t have much room to talk, comparing warriors.

          • Pacemaker4

            hehe my Dad was a decorated USN fighter pilot. try again little one…
            and we have no where near 80 f-18’s flying, and no where near 12 frigates operating
            where do you get your facts?
            search ‘HMCS collision’
            We almost hit as much stuff as your navy does.

      • SDW

        You are maybe advocating flying “spy planes” over one’s own country? Maybe a country’s military should be reserved for “visiting” its neighbors? Russia could certainly get behind that idea.

  • danram

    I really think that it’s high time that we start sending fighter escorts along on these reconnaissance missions. This is Putin deliberately tweaking our nose to see if we will punch back. It’s high time we started punching back.

    • Refguy

      Do any of our fighters have the legs to do that? Aren’t EP-3 missions typically 12+ hours? Do we send a tanker? and escorts for the tanker? What would the fighter escorts do?
      Wouldn’t the risk of a mid-air increase if two or more fighters (the Russians might send reinforcements) were engaging in ACM near the EP-3?

      • El Kabong

        What risk?

        The Russians see something that can shoot back, they’ll think twice.

        Remember what the USAF F-22 pilot said to the Iranian F-4’s?

        “You really ought to go home”

        • John Locke

          Something able to shoot back never made them think twice when they would mark on top of a carrier with their Bear D’s

          • El Kabong

            Something that can shoot back would make them think twice about shooting at a western a/c.

            KAL 007, EC-121, Mercator, etc…

          • Refguy

            Or close passes on a DDG. Not that we ever did the same thing to their “trawlers”.

        • Refguy

          You didn’t answer any of the questions. Multiple aircraft of different types maneuvering in close proximity always pose a risk of a midair. Shooting back means they have shot at the EP-3 (or our fighter); this thread has been about failure to keep a safe distance from other aircraft. Unless our fighter shoots first (or threatens to), there’s not a lot it can do; trying to stay between the other guy and the EP-3 creates a high probability of a midair – might be two fighters colliding, or one fighter (ours or the Russian) colliding with the EP-3 while maneuvering to avoid the the other fighter.

          • El Kabong

            I don’t reply to SFQ’s that can be answered with a 30 second Google search.

            Try re-reading my comment.

            Here’s a hint.

            What do you think those Iranian F-4’s did?

          • Refguy

            I don’t need google to tell me that we don’t have a carrier in the Black Sea, so the Navy isn’t going to send a fighter escort ( even if the Hornet had the endurance) and no Air Force fighter has the endurance to be an escort; I thought you might have a plan for keeping the escort airborne. Google has no clue as to what the escort would do or how it would do it, so what’s your plan?
            Which Iranian F-4’s are you referring to?

          • El Kabong

            Yeah, sure…..Why use facts?

            Like these new fangled things called air-to-air refuelling tankers?
            Or timed escort relief?

            Good lord, you’re helpless….

          • Refguy

            I’m aware of both and the number of assets required and basing issues.

          • El Kabong


            Finding a country willing to stick it to Russia isn’t difficult to do.

            That’s what happens when you’ve been invaded and occupied by a neighbour.

          • Refguy

            Turkey? They wouldn’t let us invade Northern Iraq from their territory in 2003 and they’re attacking our Kurdish allies in Norther Syria.

          • El Kabong

            They’re allowing allies to use their bases.

          • Refguy

            Some allies, some times. They’re also cozying up to the Russians in Syria.

          • El Kabong

            They invaded Syria….

            Shot down a Russian bomber.

            I doubt the Russians are “friendly” to them.

    • tpharwell

      Not where he would anticipate it, I would reckon. Or how.

  • Refguy

    We know Russia has jammed GPS in the Black Sea; could the EP-3 crew have violated Russian airspace because they had false GPS data? Alternatively, Russia probably considers most of the Black Sea to be part their ADIZ.

    • Дмитрий Куценко

      Well, you get the map. Look at Russia and where is the black sea. Then see where is the American continent. Maybe then you will understand how absurd the presence of American spies in the black sea.

      • SDW

        Of course. Why the next thing to happen will be that we set up in a middle eastern country and start acting like mercenaries bombing non-combatants, hospitals, and more to keep our homicidal host in power.

    • USNVO

      Doubtful. More like the Russians have some crappy pilots. The vast majority of intercepts are conducted safely and professionally, but you get the occasional bad apple with an inferiority complex.

  • Bill

    What’s the weather like in Moscow?

  • El Kabong

    Shoo troll.

    Bottom line, Russia needs to leave the Ukraine.

    • USNVO

      You would think before sending out trolls, they would check them for basic reading comprehension as well as basic google skills. Maybe even have some convincing arguments pre-made so they don’t get laughed out of the room

      1. INCSEA Agreement
      Article VIII
      This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signature and shall remain in force for a period of three years. It will thereafter be renewed without further action by the Parties for successive periods of three years each.

      This Agreement may be terminated by either Party upon six months written notice to the other Party.

      Hasn’t been terminated, remains in effect.

      2. Now, UNCLOS treaty. The US has not signed it, they must be a rogue nation BS. But wait, the UNCLOS, in it’s relevant sections, is more or less a word for word copy of, wait for it,

      The First United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS I) from February 24 until April 29, 1958. UNCLOS I adopted the four conventions, which are commonly known as the 1958 Geneva Conventions:

      The Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone;
      The Convention on the High Seas;
      The Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the
      High Seas; and
      The Convention on the Continental Shelf.

      Guess what, the US is a signature of UNCLOS I just not UNCLOS III (UNCLOS II was never agreed to by anyone). Hence, per International law, the US is still bound by those provisions that are the same (the important ones in this case). The US just doesn’t agree with the way the whole seabed mining aspects are laid out.

      3. INCSEA somehow supplanted by UNCLOSIII. He points to Article 87 but never really quotes it. That is because it does not say what he thinks it says. Here it is in its entirety.

      Article 87
      Freedom of the high seas
      1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked.
      Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this
      Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:
      (a) freedom of navigation;
      (b) freedom of overflight;
      (c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to
      Part VI;
      (d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations
      permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;
      (e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in
      section 2;
      (f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.
      2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for
      the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas,
      and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to
      activities in the Area.

      Nope, nothing about acting in a safe manner.

      Really, I expect better from Russian Trolls.

  • D. Jones

    If nothing else, start equipping the planes with dashcams/GoPros.

    Footage is more impressive than text.

  • gonavy81

    We need Maverick and Goose to conduct the inverted negative 4G turn “finger intercept” Polaroid photo op again.

  • Ed L

    Maybe there will be an earthquake at The strait of Dardanelles and Mother Nature The strait of Dardanelles and it will closed

  • This is where a nice laser turret ball on a large lumbering plane would play a bit of havoc on the Russian fighter when its electronics suddenly “get ill”, same way drones will find themselves overheating and not working well. Just think of it as payback for the buzzing, the electronic interference they do to the US ships, or what the Cubans did to embassy staffs as another example. Russian jet can turn around, go home, and nobody gets killed and frankly no evidence of it other than “radar started to flutter, heat up, turn off”. No need to send a fighter jet to escort them, we’d save that for the next B-52 flights out of Alaska, or maybe spool up Thule AFB with a squadron of f-15’s and bombers and remind all it’s going to come from multiple directions, “it” being trouble. Just good clean intimidating fun courtesy of the US, China and Russia.

  • Matt Muldoon

    With NATO bases surrounding Russia all they can do is show their authority in the region. Just picture Mother Russia conducting sorties out of Canada or Mexico, that’ll be interesting. And with the US having around 800 overseas military bases compared with Russia’s 9, who’s the antagonist again?

    • SDW

      Why not claim a thousand US overseas bases? Go for it, claim two thousand. Since the numbers you are stating have been pulled out of some place known for not having sunshine, you might as well claim US bases on the moon. If your source is not anatomical, what is it? What defines a “base” Every embassy has at least a few Marine Guards. To reach 800 you would have to count off-base housing and every recruiting office but you claimed they were all overseas. Get real.

  • Sam

    I was just saying there are things that the military is developing that are top secret that you and no one else knows about. They haven’t just been sitting on their butts and not keeping up with weaponry. They know what China and Russia are doing.

  • FourWarVet

    Sending armed fighter escorts to accompany an unarmed recon aircraft, legally operating in international airspace during peacetime would only escalate the situation and send all of the wrong signals. Armed fighter escorts, or fire control radars from a USN ship in the Black Sea would most definitely put the EP-3 crew at risk of being shot down. The risk of a collision is real during an intercept, and the Russians have been operating very unprofessionally of late, but aggressive actions are never advisable when a national asset and a crew of 20+ are at stake.

    • Дмитрий Куценко

      Fly near your continent. Your military provoke and then say “Oh what a bloodthirsty Russia”.

      • Donald Carey

        YOUR planes fly near the U.S. all the time and have for decades.

        • Дмитрий Куценко

          The flights of Russian long-range aviation resumed in 2007, that’s a fact. American scouts and bombers with nuclear weapons even after the collapse of the USSR continued to fly around Russia, it is also a fact. The black sea is part of the exclusive economic zone of Russia (according to Articles 56, 58 of the UN Convention on the law of the sea 1982). American scouts come in to this economic zone.

          • USNVO

            Not the US fault that Russians poor decrepit Air Force didn’t have any airworthy planes. What is your excuse for violating Swedish Air Space?

            The entire Black Sea is Russian EEZ? I am sure that Turkey, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, and all the other Black Sea states would be surprised to hear that. You may want to reread those articles But even if that was true, The EEZ is part of the high seas which allows overflight by anyone.

            Besides having lousy aviators, Russia must have lousy lawyers too.

          • Donald Carey

            YOUR planes fly over the U.S.’s eez as well (any time they are within 200 nautical miles of our coast, Comrad). Your spy ships enter our eez as well.

          • SDW

            Do you allow Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria the same right to claim the Black Sea as their EEZ? Do you think you can sweep away the Montreux Convention like was tried at the end of the 40s? Can you name any other country that agrees with a Russian claim to the Black Sea beyond what is provided by international law? Do you know that even a legitimate EEZ is not the same as territorial waters?

            Do you expect any of us to believe what you say?

          • kye154

            Дмитрий Куценко, you should forgive some of these people, for their embarrassing lack of education and arrogance. Its a common problem in the U.S., often referred to as the Dunning-Krueger effect. Its a genetically inherited problem passed down from their Lower Slobovian ancestry. But, they are totally unaware of that, to know any better.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Ah, but we all drop our pants and start a’fahtin whenever one of you demi-gods comes in the midst of us mere mortals, καί (GR for and, EN for BUTT).

      • OldSaltUSNR

        Y’all did this stuff for decades. I was there.

        What it got you, was 1989.

        It’ll happen again, too, a whole lot of pain for the Russian people.

    • OldSaltUSNR

      Yep. Pretty much that.

      Sending combat aircraft to escort sounds great, until someone has to write the ROE’s for those aircraft. It has to be handled diplomatically first, informing the Russians of our ROE’s – our limits. I said 2 NM’s, but that might still be too close with jet aircraft. Maybe 5 NM. We’d have to publish the air equivalent of a “notice to mariners”. If the Russians cross that thresh-hold, endangering the E3, then it’s weapons free on the F22’s (and that’s who would be escorting that E3, too). The pilots need to have specific ROE’s, or sending them out there as a “show of force” is risky.

      If the CinC decides to go that direction, then we’re going to have to support every flight in that AOR with a CAP. Expensive to maintain, and at that point, the Russian’s are jerking our chain anyhow, costing us more in resources to defend those flights than they are worth. Take some Blackbirds out of retirement and use them instead.

      • Refguy

        How close did our Phantoms and Tomcats come to Bears flying over international waters? Close enough to ogle the centerfolds in Playboy.

        • OldSaltUSNR

          Depend on which waters. I don’t believe that the USA was overflying the Baltics in the USSR days. It was only after the USSR slave states were freed, that the Black Sea became something less than a Russian inland waterway. Russia is challenging the Black Sea as an international waterway, and the US is challenging that. All I’m saying is that if we intend to push back, it will have to be will a full CAP supporting the E3, which involves … I dunno … a full airwing including support – 1000 men? Not sure where the closest American base is, maybe Incirlik Air Base in Turkey? If we’re going to offer close air support, we’re going to need to develop a base closer with a Baltic state ally. It’s a big commitment.

          On the other hand, we certainly could buzz Russian flights closer to the US, but even in the days of which you spoke, we didn’t make strafing runs on an aircraft within a 5′ separation. US pilots may have been hot dogs, but they were PROFESSIONAL hot dogs. US pilots aren’t Russians, don’t bomb women and children intentionally, are generally brighter and better educated than the Russian conscripts, and again, are pro’s.

          • Refguy

            I agree about the size of the required force. As for the Bear intercepts, I was thinking of Bears shadowing carriers in the Med and WestPac. No strafing runs, but close formation on the order of 20 feet. I was responding to your suggestion that we should consider anything closer than 2 to 5 miles as a sign of hostile intent. If they’re truly hostile, they can use a missile from beyond 5 miles. No argument about the differences in professional between our pilots and theirs.

  • tpharwell

    The most disturbing thing about this incident like others in the recent past is that it begs the question of our national purpose in dealing with Russia, and reveals a serious discontinuity between our national policy objectives in respect thereto, and what military planners rightly or wrongly presume to be their operational priorities and imperatives. As others have questioned, what are we doing in the Black Sea ? Or the Baltic ? I do not know the answer to those questions. But they need to be asked and answered well by those that should. I hope they have been. But I hardly see the point myself.

    This incident classified as a mortal peril to the aircraft in question: a virtual collision. Question, what would we be doing if they had both gone down, with a loss of crew ? Submitting a diplomatic protest to the Russian ambassador ?? And note, that over at “The Drive” website, T. Rogoway is reporting that the close encounter prompted the Navy crew to abort its mission: a mission kill for the Russian pilot, for which he no doubt got a great slap on the back when he got home, and a commendation by his CO.

    There is an close parallel to be found with the drive-by missions in the South China Sea. A sort of nose-thumb that delivers a message of sorts. It works fine to send a recon aircraft out undefended; until it does not. So what does it prove ? And if indeed these missions are imperative, then will we not defend against their disruption in the future ?

    Query, what is the point of saying we can and will operate in the Black Sea if we choose to, when we have allowed, and indeed invited the Russian Federation to take up a strategic position in NATO’s rear: Syria and the eastern Mediterranean, without so much as a whimper: yea, with the encouragement of withdrawing our Patriot Missile batteries from Turkey, over Turkish objections ?

    I have little confidence that our Navy is receiving sufficient guidance in order to answer these questions. Concerning this blossoming insanity, over at War and the Rocks, there is an article entitled thus: “Searching for Strategy in Washington’s Competition with Russia”. That article quotes another in the Texas National Security Review: “Policy Roundtable: a Closer Look at the 2018 National Security Strategy”. That is worth quote here, in order to essay the meaning of these encounters:

    “Reading the recently released 2018 National Defense Strategy,
    which trumpets the national security establishment’s emergence from “a
    period of strategic atrophy,” one can be forgiven for wondering what
    took so long. The new formulation emanating from the Pentagon, that
    “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary
    concern of U.S. national security,” is both refreshing and long overdue.
    America seems to be the last of the great powers to self-consciously
    join a geopolitical competition that has been unfolding for some years
    with Russia and China.

    Yet this strategy will not suffice to maintain the U.S. position in
    the international system. Indeed, it is a symptom of the very same
    strategic atrophy decried in the first lines of the document. The National Defense Strategy’s urgency
    is valid and its desire to focus on inter-state conflict meritorious.
    Its tone and framing is, in many ways, a good start. But it betrays a
    poor understanding of the nature of the problem and the adversaries with
    whom we are competing. My focus here will be on strategic competition
    with Russia, although I also offer a few remarks on China.

    In principle, one can agree with Kori Schake’s positive review
    “that the document propounds a clear vision to the current challenges
    to U.S. security, the roles military force will play in protecting
    against those challenges, and the priorities for spending and activity
    to strengthen the enterprise.” The vision is clear, but it is not
    necessarily correct. There is great clarity in terms of contested
    domains, capabilities in demand, and the loss of military advantage.
    Unfortunately, this document is absolute gobbledygook on the challenge
    posed by revisionist powers and the way forward to arresting a
    concomitant decline in U.S. military power and influence. It does not
    seem to benefit from a firm understanding of international politics or
    deterrence concepts. There is a very retro 1980s vibe to this document,
    more looking backward to the competition that was — and in that sense, nostalgic — than forward to the competition that is and will be.

    The National Defense Strategy both overstates the military
    challenge and, at the same time, misses the point on the strategic
    challenges facing the United States. Thus, it comes off somewhat as a
    blind swordsman, unable to cogently describe the threat, or the
    strategic environment, but confident that a larger sword is needed. Much
    of the Russian establishment is having a conversation on the importance
    of non-military means in determining the outcome of a contest prior to
    the onset of combat operations, i.e. winning without fighting.
    And while this conversation is unfolding, America’s strategy is fixated
    on conventional dominance, deterrence by denial, and chasing after
    unobtanium: the ability to win regional wars against peer nuclear states
    who field a strong nuclear and conventional deterrent. The Pentagon
    remains wholly committed to the fantasy of having conventional wars with
    nuclear states, where they will let us win, accepting defeat without a
    nuclear exchange.”

    To repeat: “Unfortunately, this document is absolute gobbledygook on the challenge
    posed by revisionist powers and the way forward to arresting a
    concomitant decline in U.S. military power and influence. It does not
    seem to benefit from a firm understanding of international politics or
    deterrence concepts.”

    That is a pretty strong condemnation. Why then fly these missions, and give away the farm ? I perceive no similar disconnect between Russian state purposes and military operations at any level. Quite a unified command structure and clarity of purpose, if you ask me. Perhaps one of the advantages of their form of government.

    Clearly, the US military is not welcome in the Black Sea. We place ourselves at great risk and disadvantage by remaining there, without knowing why.



  • Дмитрий Куценко

    Americans have there own continent. Fly there and not at the borders of
    Russia. Well, someone like, when outside your house constantly walks a
    man with a gun? Provoke Russia and then complain “Oh man, what kind of
    bloodthirsty”. In fact, America creates the fires and extinguish them
    with gasoline. And America scares North Korea, and provoke retaliatory
    actions. Insolent.

    • D. Jones

      All nations will fear when the mighty LCS is freed from its icy straitjacket.

    • SDW

      Poor North Korea. There is a reason there is only one fat man in the “Democratic People’s” Republic of Korea.
      One measure of a leader is who he considers a friend. Pres. Putin has the admiration and loyalty of Assad of Syria and Kim of Korea, two leaders best known for killing their own people to stay in power. Are these the type of leaders we can expect from Russia? Does President Putin want to be like them so much that he will join them in killing their own people? His?
      Is Russia so uncultured and ignorant to be easily provoked like a zoo animal. To feel threatened by an unarmed aircraft designed in the 50s? Are you saying that Russia should go to war because what, your neighbors don’t want to be under your control like in the soviet days? You talk of having your “own” continent. Do you believe that Russia owns Europe or is it Asia that will be the center of the New Russian Empire? If being hundreds of miles away from Russia is to be flying “at the borders of Russia” then tell us, what are the Russian borders today? tomorrow?
      Do you still have a brain? Do you know how to use it or have you given it away to the oligarchs and siloviki that feed you crumbs from what was a rich country but now is ripped apart as if done by wolves?

      • publius_maximus_III

        Kim Phat Phok

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    Maybe US EW aricraft should stop approaching Russian military installations, and the USN should stop abusing the Black Sea treaty.

    • Mmjmm

      Are they flying in Russian airspace?

      • Marcd30319

        No, it is in international airspace.

        • Mmjmm

          Yep. I knew the answer. My question was rhetorical.

          • Marcd30319

            Then why waste bandwidth asking it in the first place?

          • Mmjmm

            Because the initial poster insisted there was some kind of violation with “US EW aircraft should stop approaching Russian military installations”

    • USNVO

      What Black Sea Treaty? There is no Black Sea Treaty.

      Perhaps you speak of the Montreux Convention? That just limits transit of the Turkish straits by non-Black Sea State Navies to ships less than 15,000 tons. So a USN DDG can freely transit into and out of the Black Sea and sail anywhere in the Black Sea that is International Waters. They can also visit NATO countries Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey (or any other Black Sea state) if they like. Just like other countries ships can freely sail in International Waters near the United States. A Russian AGI is currently operating off the US East Coast and often approaches close to US installations, so what? They have a legal right to be there. But that is ships, this was an aircraft which probably didn’t sail through the straits.

      For aircraft, the area above the Black Sea is International Airspace since it is above the high seas. As long as an aircraft stays in International Airspace, they have an absolute right to be there. It doesn’t matter if the aircraft is “approaching Russian military installations” anymore than it matters that Russian Aircraft routinely approach US installations in Alaska and the US West Coast, or Russian Aircraft approach Swedish, German, Polish, and Baltic State installations in the Baltic. As long as you remain in international air space they are completely in their rights. Notice that no one ever complains about that. Intercepting said flights are perfectly fine as well, the Russians, US, and virtually every other country on the planet does so routinely. The only difference is that US pilots tend to be professionals and don’t get dangerously close. Again, the fact that the Russians intercepted the aircraft is not protested, just the dangerous activity of the pilot.

      So, to summarize, the US has not broken any treaties, has not done anything the Russians don’t do, and can’t be abusing a non-existent treaty.

      However, the Russians have violated a Treaty, specifically the 1972 INCSEA treaty that remains in effect to this day. Specifically,

      Article IV
      Commanders of aircraft of the Parties shall use the greatest caution and prudence in approaching aircraft and ships of the other Party operating on and over the high seas, in particular, ships engaged in launching or landing aircraft, and in the interest of mutual safety shall not permit: simulated attacks by the simulated use of weapons against aircraft and ships, or performance of various aerobatics over ships, or dropping various objects near them in such a manner as to be hazardous to ships or to constitute a hazard to navigation.

      So instead of pointing at some non-existent treaty, the Russians (and yourself although you could be a Russian troll and, for that matter, so could I) could start upholding their obligation under an actual, in effect treaty that applies in this situation. Then the US wouldn’t complain.

  • OldSaltUSNR

    USA: “I’ll be your huckleberry.”

  • El Kabong

    Bottom line, GTFO of the Ukraine, suka!

    It’s international waters, boy.

    What you going to do about it?


    While the US may have violated any number of treaties, it has not violated the Black Sea Treaty as there is no Black Sea Treaty.

  • tpharwell

    G Marie, thank you. That is the right answer: the one I was fishing for. Hopefully. But you ground it in a prepositional phrase that begins with “because”; and that is the all important matter. You assert that these aircraft are on very important business. Fine. I will take your word for it. But then you go on to add that they should have a fighter escort. I would in that case agree. And thus I would be obliged to ask why this one did not ? This is not a bolt of lightening out of the blue. There have been far too many of these incidents in the recent past, in fact. So what is the matter with the US Navy ? Why don’t they get on the same page with us ?

    This causes me to wonder about the “or” side of the decision tree from whence these questions arise. Your method of arriving at a solution to a problem arising out of a mistake by one party or the other is very natural and thus understandable. I easily recognize it as the sort of response a tough guy (like me) would have to a bar room altercation. Or as the line from the Untouchables goes: “They send one of your guys to the hospital. You send one of their’s to the morgue”.

    Leaving bravado aside, however, in the absence of having a reason for wanting to go to war with the Russian Federation, it would be a shame to allow a skirmish over matters of honor, rights, and prerogatives, to result in one. Rather ill-advised, if you ask me.

    Meanwhile…..you get the point. I repeat myself.

  • Marcd30319

    Article 14.

    The maximum aggregate tonnage of all foreign naval forces which may be in
    course of transit through the Straits shall not exceed 15,000 tons,
    except in the cases provided for in Article 11 and in Annex III to the
    present Convention.

    The forces specified in the preceding paragraph shall not, however, comprise more than nine vessels.

    Vessels whether belonging to Black Sea or non-Black Sea Powers,
    paying visits to a port in the Straits, in accordance with the
    provisions of Article 17, shall not be included in this tonnage.

    Neither shall vessels of war which have suffered damage during their
    passage through the Straits be included in this tonnage; such vessels,
    while undergoing repair, shall be subject to any special provisions
    relating to security laid down by Turkey.

  • SDW

    I’d get a good laugh from your chastising someone for not knowing applicable treaty law, but it’s simply sad.

    Spell it out. Which part of the Montreux Convention are you claiming to have been violated? Why hasn’t Turkey raised this as an issue?
    Is Tsar Vladi trying to assert or even seize control over the Dardanelles as the former dictatorship tried back in the 40s?
    What does the Convention have to do with the transit of aircraft over international waters in the Back Sea? Even when you try to shift the focus from the question at hand you still can’t pick one where neo-Imperial Russia has any legitimate grounds to protest.

  • SDW

    Now that’s a spectacular non sequitur. Shall we trade lists of repressed peoples? And if we do, will that make a bit of difference as far as Russia trying to exert hegemony over all countries with Black Sea shorelines and the merchant ships of all flags that sail into and around the Black Sea? Just another bogus dodge…

  • El Kabong


    You actually believe the Ruskies would be dumb enough to stick around?

    One F-22 might show up to intercept your pals, but they’d have NO CLUE where any other F-22’s would be.

    Sure, great plan.

    The USAF always likes to add to their LONG list of MiG and Sukhoi kills.


  • Im Ug

    Russia and China are imperialist.

  • Im Ug

    The solution is very simple:Reinstate COCOM and impose diplomatic and trade sanctions on any o
    country that ignores this and continues selling computers ,semiconductors and equipment to communist Russia,China and Belarus.

  • Marcd30319

    Excerpt from Incident at Sea: American Confrontation and Cooperation with Russia and China, 1945-2016 by David F. Winkler (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2017), page 9:

    “The United States decided to send a warship to the Black Sea as a signal of displeasure as well as a sign of reassurance to its NATO allies in Bulgaria and Romania. This “immediate” action was hardly immediate, however, because the Montreux Convention required twenty-one days’ notification before a warship could transit the Bosporos. Thus, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Donald Cook arrived in the Black Sea for a three-deployment in mid-April 2014, well over a month after the Crimea went Russia.”

    Technically-speaking, the United States is not a signatory to the Montreux Convention, but the US still has to adhere to its provisions if we want to operate in the Black Sea.

    So much for RT trolls and sea lawyers!

  • Marcd30319

    Actually, Dr. Winkler did discuss the Donald Cook‘s April 2014 deployment to the Black Sea in some detail. See Incident at Sea: American Confrontation and Cooperation with Russia and China, 1945-2016 by David F. Winkler (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2017), pages 10-11:

    Two days after clearing the Straits, the Donald Cook‘s Aegis radar system detected the approaching Russian SU-24 aircraft well advance of their arrival. As Dr. Winkler rather dryly observed, the only thing that the Aegis system could not determine was if the two SU-24 aircraft were armed. But when they showed up, both aircraft had nothing — no missile, no ELINT pods, nothing! “Wings clean!”

    In spite of repeated warnings that they were violating MDA procedures, the two Russian jet spent 90 minutes blustering and buzzing around recklessly and ineffectually before returning to base for a vodka break. The Donald Cook subsequently had a very successful port visit to Constanta, Bulgaria, on 14 April 2014 before participating with exercises with the Bulgarian navy.

    Donald Cook was shadowed by a Russian Krivak-class frigate who did not respond in kind when the Donald Cook sent navigational signals in accordance with INCSEA procedures. The Donald Cook left the Back Sea on schedule ten days after its port visit to Constanta.

    Dr. Winkler is a retired US Navy Commander and part of the staff of the US Naval Historical Foundation; he interviewed Commander Charles E. Hampton, the XO of the Donald Cook at the time of this April 2014 deployment to the Black Sea. Both are highly credible and reliable sources.

    I took the trouble of posting these entries from Dr. Winkler’s book to prove several points.

    First, the United States does adhere to international treaties and conventions, even one’s that the US is not a signatory such as the Montreux Convention and UNCLOS, contrary to false assertions made at this message board.

    Two, to address those who question why our military operates in the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the South China Sea, the answer is two-fold — to support our allies in the face of aggressive behavior by adversarial neighbors and to exercise the freedom of navigation in international waters and airspace. Given Russia activity in eastern Ukraine and the Crimea, monitoring Russian military activity with our reconnaissance aircraft is just plain common sense.

    Finally, this post revealed conclusively that you, sir, are a troll. Whose troll — Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or just a Soros sock-puppet — doesn’t really matter.

    So have a lovely day, comrade. And say bye-bye, too!

  • Marcd30319

    So on one hand, we have a recognized expert who has written the definitive history on INCSEA, and we also have the executive officer of the USS Donald Cook who actually eye-balled those two SU-24s and declared: “Wings clean!”

    No missile, no ELINT pods, nothing!

    And then we have you … the spreader of dezinformatsiya (disinformation) and maskirovka (military deception), or what back in the Cold War was known as being a useful idiot.

    A Defense Systems article by George Leopold dated May 12, 2017 blew the lid off this Russian hoax based upon detailed analysis of the alleged incident by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. It took all of five seconds to locate both reports on Google.

    The truth is out there … if you want the truth and not lies and propaganda.

    So go peddle your fairy tales somewhere else, comrade. We ain’t buying here.

  • life form

    So you have no substantive response to Marc’s sourced rebuttal. Got it.

  • life form

    you wrote:
    According to the statement released by the US State Department, the encounter was ‘gravely demoralizing’ the Cook’s crew”

    I am asking for a link to the statement you say the US State Department issued.

    • Marcd30319

      life form:

      First, I went to Infowars com and searched for “Donald Cook” which took me to one entry, which had a number of photos from the news media and this exact phrase in quotes:

      “According to the statement released by the US State Department, the encounter was ‘gravely demoralizing’ the Cook’s crew”

      There is however NO attributions. Due note that this appears to be cut-and-pasted from something, but what?

      Now, go to the official United States Department of State website and follow these breadcrumbs staring on its home page:

      Press > Press Releases > Archive: 2009-2017 > 2014

      If you survey the press releases in April, there is no reference to the Black Sea or the USS Donald Cook.

      You’re welcome to check further, but I think this so-called statement is bogus. Additionally, it would be more likely that the Defense Department would address any operational details of the USS Donald Cook during its April 2014 deployment to the Black Sea, and not the State Department.

    • Marcd30319

      Here are the only two mentions of the USS Donald Cooks at the State Department’s daily press briefing with spokesperson Marie Harp.

      April 14, 2014:

      QUESTION: And I believe there was an instant over the weekend
      with the U.S. warship Donald Cook where there was a fighter that did
      some —

      MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

      QUESTION: — low-altitude passes over this. Your colleagues at
      the Pentagon have already spoken to this, but they advise that it’s
      actually up to the State Department as to whether you’re going to
      formally lodge some complaint against Russia for a provocative and
      unprofessional act.

      MS. PSAKI: Well, I’ve seen the comments that my Department of
      Defense colleagues have put out. They’ve put out some specific details
      on what exactly happened here. I’d have to check with our team and see
      if there’s any plans for that. Not that I’m aware of, but —

      QUESTION: Okay. Just one more part on the money, is while there was also – this morning the United States signed the —

      MS. PSAKI: Yeah.

      April 16, 2014

      QUESTION: But I did want to ask about the – this Donald Cook incident in the Black Sea.

      MS. HARF: Uh-huh.

      QUESTION: Has the U.S. launched a protest against the Russians?

      MS. HARF: So it is my understanding that the Department of Defense actually will be taking the lead on diplomatic response to this.

      QUESTION: Okay.

      MS. HARF: I’m not sure if it’s actually happened yet. It’s my understanding it will be.

      QUESTION: Is that how it generally goes? Does the – does DOD —

      MS. HARF: That’s my understanding. Obviously, we have
      different diplomatic mechanisms to communicate with countries, and it’s
      my understanding that’s how this message is being sent. I’m not sure
      there’s anything typical about anything that’s happening here.

      QUESTION: (Off-mike) yesterday the Pentagon said that the State Department was taking up the issue —

      MS. HARF: Yeah, I know —

      QUESTION: — (inaudible) take up the issues with the Russians.

      MS. HARF: I’ve talked to my colleagues at the Department of
      Defense, and we’re all trying to figure out how we’re responding, and
      the latest I have from them is that the Department of Defense will be
      responding, obviously in close coordination with us, but I think we were
      trying to figure out the mechanism through which to do that.

      QUESTION: But will Secretary be taking up the issue when he meets Lavrov?

      MS. HARF: I’m not sure. I don’t have anything to preview specifically about his conversation. We’ll see if it comes up.

      PLEASE NOTE: A key word search confirms that these are the only direct references to this incident, and the Defense Department was the lead agency for any diplomatic response, not the State Department.

      I would say this is pretty definitive about this the lack of validity on this so-called gravely demoralizing’ statement.

      • life form

        I didn’t believe it for a moment. I had heard that meme was being shopped around, but considered it very unlikely that the State Department would issue such a statement. I had it pegged as likely nonsense. I was just challenging the guy to provide a link. I was not surprised when he ignored the request.

  • Marcd30319

    When all else fails, start slinging pejoratives while asserting one’s own albeit unsubstantiated mental superiority. Good job, comrade. Go cash your Putin stipend before it bounces. And say bye-bye again.

  • life form

    I suspect a flanker would not approach an EP-3 that was being shadowed by and F-22 or F-35. They’d just avoid engagement and wait for an unescorted flight. How do we cope with that tactic?

  • Marcd30319

    Or you can go to Defense Systems article by George Leopold dated May 12, 2017 blew the lid off this Russian hoax based upon detailed analysis of the alleged incident by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and get the teal facts. It took all of five seconds to locate both reports on Google.

  • Marcd30319

    Talk about mis-characterizations.

    The Atlantic Council is a highly respected think-tank on international affairs established in 1961, with Digital Forensic Research Lab as its specialized research arm.

    George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold holds a BS in history from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where he concentrated in science writing. He has also written extensively about the U.S. manned space program. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the New Scientist and other publications.

    All three seem eminently qualified and respected.

    Now who are you exactly again?

  • Marcd30319

    Once more, sir, you are putting words in my mouth, and mis-characterizing across the board.

    The Atlantic Council is a highly respected nonpartisan think tank with expertise in international affairs was it related to the Atlantic community that goes back to 1961.

    Digital Forensic Research Lab as its specialized research arm which includes be-bunking Russian dezinformatsiya (disinformation) and maskirovka (military deception) which is a booming business under Putin.

    George Leopold has written about science and technology for over 25 years which is ample experience and expertise by any measurement, and his article appeared in Defense Systems, a highly regarded publication involved in the military IT field.

    And in any case, the DFRL proved conclusively that this so-called incident was nothing but Russian disinformation.

    All three seem eminently qualified and respected, and very credible, too.

    So what do you have except non sequiturs and nonsense.

  • El Kabong

    Buzz them back.

    Re-equip the Ukraine.

    Do more training in the Baltic states and Poland.

    Hint: Don’t start something we’ll end.

  • El Kabong

    Shoo suka.

    Russia needs to GTFO of the Ukraine and apologize.

    Is your brother Mike?

  • El Kabong


    “… if an SU-27 were to “see” an F-22…”?


    It won’t happen unless the pilot WANTS them to see their F-22.

    And if you were to take an objective look you would know an Su-27 would die before it knew what hit it.

    What’s the range for R-27’s? Around 40 km’s.

    What’s the range for an AIM-120?

    A LOT more than 40 km’s.

    How many targets can an Su-27 engage simultaneously?

    Lay off the bong, vodka and propaganda comrade.

    Your precious Flankers have already been flown and tested in the US.

  • Marcd30319

    It took me just five seconds to google the George Leopold article at Defense Systems online which also has the links to the DFRL report, so find it yourself.

    Just like you told life form about that so-called State Department statement. Do it yourself.

    • El Kabong

      Don’t waste your time on the FSB drone.

    • kye154

      Ah Ha!!! Caught you again and spinning more phony stuff. Defense Systems is just another online journal, made up of journalists, who write about the military in general, regurgitated from other news sources. Anyone, with or without credentials, can submit articles on that website, even you can!

      And, George Thompson, had worked as Systems Engineer II at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems for 6 years, (was only employed for only 2 years when the USS Cook incident occurred), but had no clearance to work on the Aegis system then to be involved with it He was a junior employee at Raytheon, only graduating from Tuft U. in 2012 with a B.S., in physics. He was never in the military either to be authoritative on this subject. So, care to try again?

      • Marcd30319

        Ah Ha, yourself!

        In its mission statement, Defense Systems helps members of the defense IT community understand how networked technologies are being used across services, commands, agencies, and programs to better enable the warfighter. Editorial coverage includes communications, cyber defense, tactical IT, enterprise systems, satellites and GEOINT, sensors, UAS and mobile.This includes hosting white papers on technical subject from industry as well as sponsor events of interest to its members.

        Defense Systems is part of 1105 Media, Inc. According to its LinkedIn page, 1105 MEDIA, INC. is a leading provider of integrated business-to-business information and media. The markets we serve include Government, Education, Network & Enterprise Computing, Business Intelligence, Office Equipment, Industrial Health & Safety, Compliance, Security, Environmental Protection, Water & Wastewater, and Home Medical Equipment. Our products focus on technology, products, policy, regulation, and news delivered through an assortment of media including print and online magazines, journals, and newsletters; seminars, conferences, executive summits, and trade shows; training and courseware; and web-based services. 1105 Media is based in Chatsworth, CA, with offices throughout the United States and more than 300 employees. The company was formed in April 2006 by Nautic Partners LLC, Alta Communications, and President/CEO Neal Vitale. Its specialities includes: Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Events, Conferences, Online Media, Newsletters, Webinars, White Papers, Microsites, Virtual Events, List Rental, and Research.

        This hardly sounds just journalistic outfit whose contents are “regurgitated from other news sources” (InfoWar?) but more like an industry group.

        Using your approach, then the United States Naval Institute itself is just another online journal made up of journalists, who write about the military in general, regurgitated from other news sources (USNI News Blog?). Anyone, with or without credentials, can submit articles on that website, even you can!

        Sound familiar?

        Caught you again and spinning more phony stuff.

        • kye154

          Anyone can write up a mission statement,professing to be an something they are not, and you would be gullible enough to believe it.

          • Marcd30319

            You really live a fact-free and evidence-free existence. Again, the site shows white papers and events sponsored by Defense Systems.

            You offer nothing but baseless assertions marinated in your own self-delusions.

            I’ll put my chips on the credibility of Defense Systems and know it will carry the day.

      • Marcd30319

        And, George Thompson, had worked as Systems Engineer II at Raytheon
        Integrated Defense Systems for 6 years, (was only employed for only 2
        years when the USS Cook incident occurred), but had no clearance to
        work on the Aegis system then to be involved with it He was a junior
        employee at Raytheon, only graduating from Tuft U. in 2012 with a B.S.,
        in physics. He was never in the military either to be authoritative on
        this subject. So, care to try again?

        Who is George Thompson? Did you mean George Leopold?

        To make it easier for you, according to his LinkedIn page, George Leopold has been:

        * Was an editor for the Optical Society of Anerica for seven years.
        * Editor-in-Chief of EE Time Confidential for UBM Technology for 19 years.
        * Executive Editor for UBM Insights

        He has held these various positions simultaneously, and he write a biography astronaut Gus Grissom. Leopold is hardly a journalist but is in fact an experienced expert in technical, scientific, and military information.

        To summarize, the fact that you did not go back, do your basic due diligence, and consequently googled the wrong George really tell all anyone needs to know about how slapdash and erratic you are

        • kye154

          You were the one who mentioned George Thompson. I just looked him up. Read your own post.

          • Marcd30319

            I mentioned George Leopold’s article at DefenseSystems repeatedly. Why didn’t you do your due diligence and double-check the previous posts? That is just plain sloppy.

  • Marcd30319

    Hope you brought your lunch because it will never happen.

    BTW – How did you know that George Thompson, Systems Engineer II at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, did not have a clearances?

    You really are a FSB drone.

    • kye154

      It probably never dawned on you that I work for DoD. That’s how I know. Good bye troll!

      • Marcd30319

        So you claim, however unsubstantiated and delusional it may be.

  • El Kabong


    IF your pals get to WVR….

    Most of us that had careers in the military know the Russians are primitive, and mostly conscripts.

    Now, enough of the vain deflection attempts.

    Answer the questions.

  • 1Psuche

    This is an act of cowardice on the Russian’s part!!

    Here you have a high performance fighter jet dangerously harassing an unarmed reconnaissance plane. What does this demonstrate, bravery? Hardly!

    With Russia responding this way, it suggest much fear and intimidation on THEIR part as they over-compensate with these 3rd world tactics. It certainly does not project a position of confidence and strength……Boo!