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It's been widely reported that Russian bombers have come near the Alaskan coast. This is typical though. According to reports, the bombers were approximately 40 miles out from the coast, and according to Alaskan Air Command (AAC) they do not scramble fighter jets unless an incursion comes to within 12 miles of the coast, the 12 mile rule is considered Alaskan or US airspace territory.
As a former member of AAC, I know that the U.S. Air Force does defend that airspace vigorously, because when I was stationed there, it was nearly a daily occurrence. It's nothing that's really new or news.
I lived in AK, and it was my understanding at the time it was no big deal and almost never made the news.
Urban legend has it, that planes have gotten close enough for pilots from opposing sides to wave at each other before heading back. A bit like the old Wild E Coyote cartons where he's and the sheep dog would punch into the time clock, become mortal enemies until whistled blew, and they bunch out, and go head home together as friends.
Where at in AK? I was at Eielson AFB just south of Fairbanks.
I do believe that's true, it's probably true that US and Russian pilots knew each other's names too.
At night time, on rare occasions, the runway is partially frozen, and there's something they used to call ice fog, when that developed, it would put a thin and slippery layer of ice on the runway. At the time, if there were no higher ranking sergeant available, I'd be dispatched to take an RCR, (runway condition report) I believe that when averaging the decelerometer findings were less than a 14 or 16, we'd call in a 5,000 gallon tractor trailer tanker with a boom sprayer and it would lay down a sheen of alcohol to melt ice so the F-4's could take off. When the F-4's would hit the afterburners, they'd light up the runway behind them, it looked like flames were chasing the jet. If the runway was icy for landings, we'd do the same method of ice control. Only on rare occasions did we use urea, mainly because of the FOD possibility.
They'd scramble fighter jets on a nearly daily basis, the Russians probably tested the US military often.
For me, being in Alaska, I found it to be the trip of a lifetime, my friends and myself caught many, many fish. I don't know why I ever left, I was offered a job as a heavy equipment operator at around 16 bucks an hour just before being discharged. That was excellent pay at the time, early 1980's.