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Video shows firefighters tackling California Creek Fire then going through wall of flames to get out

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video shows firefighters tackling california creek fire then going through wall of flames to get out

This is the incredible moment firefighters rushed into a California neighborhood as flames ravaged homes then had to drive through a wall of flames when the Creek Fire became too dangerous to fight.

Footage from the City of Merced Fire Department shared on Wednesday showed the devastation and danger from the point of view of the heroes, providing a brief look at how brave the men and women who launched their rescue mission were within the first 12 hours of the blaze.

The helmet camera footage is from nearly two weeks ago on September 4.

Dozens of fires have burned some 4.5 million acres of tinder-dry brush, grass and woodlands in Oregon, California and Washington state since August, ravaging several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 34 people.

Footage was released of the Creek Fire by the City of Merced Fire Department on Wednesday

Footage was released of the Creek Fire by the City of Merced Fire Department on Wednesday

Footage was released of the Creek Fire by the City of Merced Fire Department on Wednesday

It provides a brief look at how brave the men and women who launched their rescue mission were within the first 12 hours of the blaze

It provides a brief look at how brave the men and women who launched their rescue mission were within the first 12 hours of the blaze

It provides a brief look at how brave the men and women who launched their rescue mission were within the first 12 hours of the blaze

‘It is hard for our firefighters to put to words what their feelings are sometimes,’ the fire department wrote in a caption to accompany the video on social media.

‘They work hard and right to the edge of danger, at times they are able save homes and other times they are overran. It breaks their hearts when the fire wins.’

In audio firefighters can be heard yelling to ‘go!’ before they drive towards the inferno and as smoke obscures much of the view.

With sirens blaring in the background and fire crackling, the heroes sound incredibly focused as they instruct when to hose higher in the team effort.

An establishing shot of the mountainside shows just how enormous the wildfire is.

‘OES 393 along with many other engines fought until the final moments of being pinched off by the fire,’ the department said. 

'OES 393 along with many other engines fought until the final moments of being pinched off by the fire,' the department said

'OES 393 along with many other engines fought until the final moments of being pinched off by the fire,' the department said

‘OES 393 along with many other engines fought until the final moments of being pinched off by the fire,’ the department said

Firefighters can be heard yelling to 'go!' before they drive towards the inferno to get out

Firefighters can be heard yelling to 'go!' before they drive towards the inferno to get out

Firefighters can be heard yelling to ‘go!’ before they drive towards the inferno to get out

Smoke obscures much of the view as they battle the blazes on September 4

Smoke obscures much of the view as they battle the blazes on September 4

Smoke obscures much of the view as they battle the blazes on September 4

‘The end of the road was being over ran by fire and full of engines as well. They stayed fighting as long as they ‘safely’ could. Then drove through a wall of flames to get out.’

The department assured viewers that they waited until all residents on the street where the footage was recorded approved the release.

‘We share these images so communities can see what our firefighters and many other firefighters across the nation are doing to save the homes of those they don’t know,’ they added. 

‘Please be safe out there and evacuate when told to do so.’

The Creek Fire had burned 228,025 acres and was 18 percent contained on Wednesday.

The fires roared to life in California in mid-August, and erupted across Oregon and Washington around Labor Day last week, many of them sparked by catastrophic lightning storms and stoked by record-breaking heat waves and bouts of howling winds.

Weather conditions improved early this week, enabling firefighters to begin to make headway in efforts to contain and tamp down the blazes.

But California faces more devastation from wildfires that have ravaged the West Coast, authorities warned Wednesday, with strong winds and dry heat expected to whip up flames from dozens of blazes raging across the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom said although firefighters had made progress in their battle to contain more than two dozen major wildfires, so-called Santa Ana winds could fuel the relentless blazes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) said 16,600 firefighters were still battling 25 major fires on Tuesday, after achieving full containment around the perimeter of other large blazes.

A shot of a helicopter over the mountainside shows just how enormous the wildfire was

A shot of a helicopter over the mountainside shows just how enormous the wildfire was

A shot of a helicopter over the mountainside shows just how enormous the wildfire was

Firefighters in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Los Angeles waged an all-out campaign to save the famed Mount Wilson Observatory and an adjacent complex of broadcast transmission towers from flames that crept near the site.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated more than $1.2 million in mission assignments to bring relief to Oregon and has deployed five urban search and rescue teams to the wildfire-torn region, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

Search teams scoured incinerated homes for the missing as firefighters kept up their exhausting battle.

The wildfires, which officials and scientists have described as unprecedented in scope and ferocity, have filled the region’s skies with smoke and soot, compounding a public health crisis already posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Scientists in Europe tracked the smoke as it bore down on the continent, underscoring the magnitude of the disaster. The European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) is monitoring the scale and intensity of the fires and the transport of the resultant smoke across the United States and beyond.

‘The fact that these fires are emitting so much pollution into the atmosphere that we can still see thick smoke over 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) away reflects just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration,’ CAMS Senior Scientist Mark Parrington said in a statement.

CAMS said it uses satellite observations of aerosols, carbon monoxide and other constituents of smoke to monitor and forecast its movement through the atmosphere.

A firefighter (right) works to contain the Bobcat Fire burning down a hillside on September 15 in Monrovia, California. California's national forests remain closed due to wildfires which have already incinerated a record 2.5 million acres this year. The Bobcat Fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains, has grown to over 40,000 acres

A firefighter (right) works to contain the Bobcat Fire burning down a hillside on September 15 in Monrovia, California. California's national forests remain closed due to wildfires which have already incinerated a record 2.5 million acres this year. The Bobcat Fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains, has grown to over 40,000 acres

A firefighter (right) works to contain the Bobcat Fire burning down a hillside on September 15 in Monrovia, California. California’s national forests remain closed due to wildfires which have already incinerated a record 2.5 million acres this year. The Bobcat Fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains, has grown to over 40,000 acres

Dee Perez comforts Michael Reynolds in the ruins of his home destroyed in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon, September 15

Dee Perez comforts Michael Reynolds in the ruins of his home destroyed in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon, September 15

Dee Perez comforts Michael Reynolds in the ruins of his home destroyed in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon, September 15

This handout image taken on September 10 from Copernicus-Sentinel-3 shows the smoke plume off the west coast of the states of Oregon, Washington and California, as fires rage across the continent

This handout image taken on September 10 from Copernicus-Sentinel-3 shows the smoke plume off the west coast of the states of Oregon, Washington and California, as fires rage across the continent

This handout image taken on September 10 from Copernicus-Sentinel-3 shows the smoke plume off the west coast of the states of Oregon, Washington and California, as fires rage across the continent

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Air Force Two carrying Mike Pence is forced to return to New Hampshire after being hit by BIRDS

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air force two carrying mike pence is forced to return to new hampshire after being hit by birds

Air Force Two has been forced to return to a New Hampshire airport after it was hit by birds shortly after takeoff. 

The incident occurred Tuesday evening after the plane, carrying Vice President Mike Pence, departed Manchester-Boston Regional Airport en route to Washington, D.C. 

Video shared to Twitter showed the birds striking the aircraft about seven seconds after takeoff, with several sparks subsequently seen coming from the plane’s right engine. 

Pilots managed to turn the plane and safely land back at the airport. There were no reports of any injuries. 

Air Force Two, which was carrying Vice President Mike Pence, was forced to return to a New Hampshire airport Tuesday evening after it was hit by birds. Pence is pictured campaigning in the state

Air Force Two, which was carrying Vice President Mike Pence, was forced to return to a New Hampshire airport Tuesday evening after it was hit by birds. Pence is pictured campaigning in the state

Air Force Two, which was carrying Vice President Mike Pence, was forced to return to a New Hampshire airport Tuesday evening after it was hit by birds. Pence is pictured campaigning in the state 

Air Force Two is seen grounded on Tuesday evening following the bird strike

Air Force Two is seen grounded on Tuesday evening following the bird strike

Air Force Two is seen grounded on Tuesday evening following the bird strike 

Crew were seen inspecting the plane as it sat on the tarmac shortly after nightfall. 

Meanwhile, Mike Pence boarded a C17 cargo plane for the 80 minute flight back to the nation’s capital. 

Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir shared of snap of Pence inside the cargo plane. 

‘Air Force 2 has a little different look tonight. Now in a C17 and happy for it! Thanks to the pilots and crew for getting us safely back on the ground,’ Giroir wrote. 

Mike Pence is seen alongside Assistant Health Secretary Brett P. Giroir inside a C17 cargo plane they later used to fly back to D.C.

Mike Pence is seen alongside Assistant Health Secretary Brett P. Giroir inside a C17 cargo plane they later used to fly back to D.C.

Mike Pence is seen alongside Assistant Health Secretary Brett P. Giroir inside a C17 cargo plane they later used to fly back to D.C. 

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PAUL THOMAS on… the new coronavirus restrictions

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paul thomas on the new coronavirus restrictions
33506134 8762391 image a 24 1600824718721

33506134 8762391 image a 24 1600824718721

To order a print of this Paul Thomas cartoon or one by Pugh, visit Mailpictures.newsprints.co.uk or call 0191 6030 178.  

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US military claps back at Russia’s claim its supersonic bomber flew ‘world record’ flight

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us military claps back at russias claim its supersonic bomber flew world record flight

The American military threw cold water on Moscow’s claim its supersonic nuclear-capable strategic bomber broke a world record for longest flight.

Over the weekend, Russian media reported that two Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ bombers set ‘a world record for [the] longest non-stop flight’ on Saturday totaling more than 25 hours.

‘Two crews of the Long-Range Aviation have set a new record for distance and duration on Tu-160 supersonic strategic missile-carrying bombers,’ Lieutenant General Sergey Kobylash, commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, told TASS.

The pilots of the bombers flew non-stop for more than 25 hours, ‘covering a distance of more than 20,000 kilometers,’ Kobylash said.

Russian military officials over the weekend claimed that two Tu-160 'Blackjack' supersonic strategic bombers (like the one seen above flying over Moscow on June 24) flew a record flight of more than 25 hours

Russian military officials over the weekend claimed that two Tu-160 'Blackjack' supersonic strategic bombers (like the one seen above flying over Moscow on June 24) flew a record flight of more than 25 hours

Russian military officials over the weekend claimed that two Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ supersonic strategic bombers (like the one seen above flying over Moscow on June 24) flew a record flight of more than 25 hours

According to Russian media, two Tu-160 planes took off from their home base in Engels in western Russia on Friday. From there they flew more than 12,427 miles eastward over the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. It then turned southward and back toward the west before landing at Engels

According to Russian media, two Tu-160 planes took off from their home base in Engels in western Russia on Friday. From there they flew more than 12,427 miles eastward over the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. It then turned southward and back toward the west before landing at Engels

According to Russian media, two Tu-160 planes took off from their home base in Engels in western Russia on Friday. From there they flew more than 12,427 miles eastward over the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. It then turned southward and back toward the west before landing at Engels

US Strategic Command on Monday never mentioned the Russian claims. In a tweet, it said: ¿A little #MondayMotivation to show what teamwork can accomplish.¿ STRATCOM then went on to list three non-stop flights by its strategic bombers that flew longer than the Russian aircraft.

US Strategic Command on Monday never mentioned the Russian claims. In a tweet, it said: ¿A little #MondayMotivation to show what teamwork can accomplish.¿ STRATCOM then went on to list three non-stop flights by its strategic bombers that flew longer than the Russian aircraft.

US Strategic Command on Monday never mentioned the Russian claims. In a tweet, it said: ‘A little #MondayMotivation to show what teamwork can accomplish.’ STRATCOM then went on to list three non-stop flights by its strategic bombers that flew longer than the Russian aircraft.

RUSSIA’S TUPOLEV  TU-160 BOMBER

Length: 177ft 5in

Wingspan: 182ft 9in (spread)

Weight: 242,505lbs (empty) 

Range: 7,643miles (without refuelling)

Speed: 1,380mph at 40,000ft

Rate of climb: 13,860 ft/min

The Tupolev Tu-160 is the world’s largest operational bomber.

With a crew of four men, the TU-160 can carry 12 Kh-55 cruise missiles as well as 24 Kh-15 attack missiles.

The aircraft is part of the Long Range Aviation branch of the Russian Air Force which is involved with long-range nuclear weapons.

It first entered service during the Soviet Union in 1987. In total, 35 were built with 16 remaining in service with the Russian Air Force.

In 2015, Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced plans to relaunch production, with a contract signed in 2018.

Ten Tu-160M2 are set to be ready for delivery in 2027, costing the Russian government a rumoured £1.19bn.

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‘Nobody has flown this type of aircraft longer.’

The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 3,410 miles and flying over 7,500 miles without refueling. 

US Strategic Command on Monday never mentioned the Russian claims.

In a tweet, it said: ‘A little #MondayMotivation to show what teamwork can accomplish.’

STRATCOM then went on to list three non-stop flights by its strategic bombers that flew longer than the Russian aircraft.

In 2014, the B-1 Lancer flew for 30 hours straight; In 2001, the B-2 Spirit logged 44 hours consecutively in the air; and the B-52 Stratofortress went 45 hours between taking off and landing in 1957.

‘Together, the combatant commands set the bar for excellence,’ the tweet read. It included the hashtags #Deterrence and #TogetherWeDeliver.

In 2001, the B-2 Spirit logged 44 hours consecutively in the air, beating the Russian 'record,' according to the US military

In 2001, the B-2 Spirit logged 44 hours consecutively in the air, beating the Russian 'record,' according to the US military

In 2001, the B-2 Spirit logged 44 hours consecutively in the air, beating the Russian ‘record,’ according to the US military

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit  

  • Cruising Speed: Classified – believed to be high subsonic  
  • Range: 6,000 miles, 10,000 miles with one aerial refueling
  • Payload: Capable of carrying 16 B61 Nuclear free fall bombs or 80 conventional 500lbs bombs 
  • Crew: Two 

One of the most advanced aircraft ever built, the B-2 Spirit America’s premier strategic bomber. It’s ‘flying wing’ design allows it to penetrate enemy radar systems to deliver either nuclear or conventional weapons. 

The project was originally conceived during the Carter administration in 1976 as a way to counter the Soviet threat. It was shrouded in secrecy and cost nearly $45billion to develop until it’s first flight in 1989.

With just one air-to-air refueling the B-2 is capable of flying an astonishing 10,000 miles. This means that there is rarely a need to deploy it outside the U.S., except in cases where the American government wants to project a show of force.  

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According to Russian media, two Tu-160 planes took off from their home base in Engels in western Russia on Friday.

From there they flew more than 12,427 miles eastward over the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. It then turned southward and back toward the west before landing at Engels.

The Russian Ministry of Defense told The Drive that the Tu-160s were refueled in the air three times by six Il-78 Midas tankers.

Interestingly, the strategic bombers were escorted by Su-35S Flanker fighters as well as ‘foreign aircraft along certain sections of their route.’

Those ‘foreign aircraft’ turned out to be US Air Force F-22A Raptors and an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

The American planes identified the Russian aircraft as it flew in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed the encounters on its Twitter feed on Saturday.

‘#NORAD F-22 Raptors and an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, supported by KC-135 air refuelers, positively identified two Tu-160 bombers and two Su-35 fighter aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) three times last night,’ NORAD Command tweeted on Saturday.

The B-52 Stratofortress went 45 hours between taking off and landing in 1957, according to the US military

The B-52 Stratofortress went 45 hours between taking off and landing in 1957, according to the US military

The B-52 Stratofortress went 45 hours between taking off and landing in 1957, according to the US military

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

  • Top speed: 650mph 
  • Range: 8,800 miles 
  • Payload:  Capable of carrying nuclear weapons or 70,000lbs worth of conventional weapons 
  • Crew: Five

The B-52 was initially designed as a high-altitude nuclear bomber. But when it was first introduced in 1955, few could have imagined it would still be flying more than six decades later.

It has seen action in Vietnam – where it flew more than 120,000 missions – as well as in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. It was also the main strategic nuclear deterrent during much of the early Cold War. 

Pilots joke that the plane’s air-frame is older then them or their father’s – which is testament to the original engineers. The B-52 is nicknamed the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) for its appearance and difficulty to fly.

There are plans to keep the B-52 in service beyond 2040, which could mean it could have been flying for a full century.  

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‘Although the Russian aircraft loitered in the ADIZ for approx. four hours total over the three incursions and came within 50 nautical miles of Alaska’s Nunavik Island, they remained in international airspace and at no time entered United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.

‘The re-emergence of strategic competition between nations, and competitors who overtly challenge the free and open international order, characterizes our complex global security environment,’ said General Glen VanHerck, the commander of NORAD.

‘As competitors increase their reach, range and capability, our continental defense operations must be ready to detect, deter and defeat against threats in all domains.’

NORAD tweeted: ‘NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter and early warning aircraft to ID aircraft and determine the appropriate response.

‘The ID and monitoring of aircraft entering US/CAN ADIZ demonstrates NORAD’s aerospace warning and control missions.’

Meanwhile, the American military continues to fly its own strategic bombers not far from Russia’s borders.

In 2014, the B-1 Lancer (like the one seen in the above file photo) flew for 30 hours straight

In 2014, the B-1 Lancer (like the one seen in the above file photo) flew for 30 hours straight

In 2014, the B-1 Lancer (like the one seen in the above file photo) flew for 30 hours straight

Rockwell B1-B Lancer 

  • Top Speed: 900-plus mph
  • Range: Intercontinental 
  • Payload: Capable of carrying nuclear weapons and up to 75,000lbs of ordnance internally -the equivalent of 24 misiles
  • Crew: Four

Nicknamed ‘The Bone’ for its sleek look, the swing-wing B-1B Lancer was originally designed as an incredibly fast strategic bomber that could penetrate the Soviet Union’s airspace.

However, the collapse of the USSR meant that there was a reduced need for the United States’ nuclear bombers, so the B-1 was assigned a conventional role in the mid-1990s. 

In the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia six B-1Bs flew two per cent of strike missions but dropped 20 per cent of the total ordnance. 

It has been nearly continuously deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

It has also recently seen action in Libya and Syria. Upgrades will ensure the plane is in service up until at least 2040. 

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Last Monday, three B-52 Stratofortress bombers flew a joint training mission over the Black Sea alongside fighters jets from NATO allies Ukraine and Romania.

Earlier this month, six US B-52s joined allied planes in a NATO exercise for the first time as air forces flew over all 30 nations in a single day.

Fighter jets took to the skies as the United States Air Force was joined by the UK’s Royal Air Force and others in a huge training exercise.

Around 80 aircraft flew in Exercise Point Blank on September 10, including some from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The US B-52 bomber planes took part for the first time this year, with other aircraft joining from an American base in Italy and USAF’s Europe and Africa units.

The annual operation is designed to hone tactics and ensure readiness among allied nations.

NATO said: ‘Six US air force B-52 bombers flew over all 30 NATO allies in one day.

‘They were escorted by 80 allied fighter aircraft, boosting their ability to train and operate together.’  

Last month, the US military accused Russian fighter pilots of conducting an ‘unsafe and unprofessional’ intercept of a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber that was conducting ‘routine operations’ over the Black Sea.

According to a statement from the Air Force, two Russian Su-27 jets crossed to within 100ft of the nose of the B-52 multiple times as the US bomber flew over international airspace on August 28.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed that US fighter planes escorted the two Russian strategic bombers which approached Alaskan airspace

The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed that US fighter planes escorted the two Russian strategic bombers which approached Alaskan airspace

The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed that US fighter planes escorted the two Russian strategic bombers which approached Alaskan airspace

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33503694 8761971 image a 30 1600819794247

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33503696 8761971 image a 28 1600819769130

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The US military said the Russian pilots’ shift to afterburner mode caused turbulence for the American aircraft, limiting the pilot’s ability to maneuver.

In modern aviation, when pilots activate afterburners, it injects fuel directly into the exhaust stream of a turbine engine, increasing the thrust so that the aircraft can accelerate.

‘Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules,’ said General Jeff Harrigian of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander.

‘While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved.

‘We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents.’

The Russian government did not share the American assessment of the incident.

On September 10, six US B-52s (one pictured leading a formation over the North Sea) joined allied planes in a NATO exercise for the first time as air forces flew over all 30 nations in a single day

On September 10, six US B-52s (one pictured leading a formation over the North Sea) joined allied planes in a NATO exercise for the first time as air forces flew over all 30 nations in a single day

On September 10, six US B-52s (one pictured leading a formation over the North Sea) joined allied planes in a NATO exercise for the first time as air forces flew over all 30 nations in a single day

Last month, video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows an American B-52 bomber being intercepted by Russian Su-27 jets over the Black Sea

Last month, video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows an American B-52 bomber being intercepted by Russian Su-27 jets over the Black Sea

Last month, video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows an American B-52 bomber being intercepted by Russian Su-27 jets over the Black Sea

The Defense Ministry in Moscow said in a statement that the American B-52 was ‘approaching the state border of the Russian Federation.’

‘To identify the air target and prevent violation of the state border of Russia, two Su-27 fighters were raised into the air,’ according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

‘After the foreign military plane turned away from the state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to the home airfield.

‘The entire flight of Russian Su-27 fighters took place strictly in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.

‘The American aircraft was not allowed to violate the state border of the Russian Federation.’

The B-52 was conducting 'routine operations' over the Black Sea on the morning of August 28 when two Russian Su-27s crossed within 100ft of its nose multiple times in international airspace, the Air Force said in a statement Saturday. One of Su-27s is seen pulling up next to the B-52's left wing

The B-52 was conducting 'routine operations' over the Black Sea on the morning of August 28 when two Russian Su-27s crossed within 100ft of its nose multiple times in international airspace, the Air Force said in a statement Saturday. One of Su-27s is seen pulling up next to the B-52's left wing

The B-52 was conducting ‘routine operations’ over the Black Sea on the morning of August 28 when two Russian Su-27s crossed within 100ft of its nose multiple times in international airspace, the Air Force said in a statement Saturday. One of Su-27s is seen pulling up next to the B-52’s left wing

The Su-27 is seen flying directly in front of the B-52 in a dangerous maneuver referred to as 'thumping' or a 'head-butt'

The Su-27 is seen flying directly in front of the B-52 in a dangerous maneuver referred to as 'thumping' or a 'head-butt'

The Su-27 is seen flying directly in front of the B-52 in a dangerous maneuver referred to as ‘thumping’ or a ‘head-butt’

The Russian government claims that the B-52 was flying toward the Russian border, while the Americans say the bomber was in international airspace

The Russian government claims that the B-52 was flying toward the Russian border, while the Americans say the bomber was in international airspace

The Russian government claims that the B-52 was flying toward the Russian border, while the Americans say the bomber was in international airspace

Russia has bristled at US and its NATO allies deploying troops and weapons near its borders, and has used its nuclear-capable fighter jets in the past to flex its military muscles under the nose of the United States. 

In 2018, two ‘Blackjacks’ flew over the Caribbean Sea during a 10-hour training mission with the Venezuelan Air Force amid escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington DC, coupled with allegations of meddling in Caracas. 

The Russian bombers’ deployment infuriated Washington, where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo characterized the joint training session as ‘two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.’ 

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