A game of “CHICKEN” in the Baltic Sea Apr 14, 2016 17:07:23 GMT 12
Post by kiwithrottlejockey on Apr 14, 2016 17:07:23 GMT 12
from The Washington Post....
What it looks like when Russian attack jets
fly ‘dangerously close’ to a Navy ship
By DAN LAMOTHE | 3:10PM EDT - Wednesday, April 13, 2016
RUSSIAN attack jets flew “dangerously close” to a U.S. Navy destroyer numerous times in the Baltic Sea this week, according to U.S. officials, continuing a pattern of behavior in the region that the Defense Department has previously decried.
The incidents occurred on Monday and Tuesday, with the planes making multiple passes by the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer, while it was traveling in international waters, U.S. European Command officials said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. The organization released videos that show the jets roaring by at a high rate of speed, seemingly no more than a few hundred feet away.
“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers,” European Command said. “These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death. U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the interactions, while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.”
Admiral John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, called the maneuvers unprofessional and credited the crew on the Donald Cook for how they handled themselves.
“Bravo Zulu to the crew of USS Donald Cook for their initiative and toughness in how they handled themselves during this incident,” the admiral said on Facebook.
The first incident occurred on April 11th while the destroyer was carrying out deck landing drills with a military helicopter from Poland. The Russian jets made “numerous, close-range and low-altitude passes” around 3 p.m., one of which was deemed unsafe by the Donald Cook's commanding officer, Commander Charles E. Hampton. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspending until the Su-24s departed, military officials said.
An Su-24 Russian attack jet roars by the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. — Photograph released by U.S. European Command.
A Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter pulls circles around the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea on April 12th, 2016.
— Photograph released by U.S. European Command.
The following day, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted seven circles at low altitude around the American ship about 5 p.m. About 40 minutes later, two unarmed Su-24 jets made 11 close-range and low-altitude passes by the ship, flying in “simulated attack profile” while ignoring repeated safety advisories issued by the destroyer in both English and Russian, European Command said.
The incidents are “entirely inconsistent with the professional norms of militaries operating in proximity to each other in international waters and international airspace,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday.
“There have been repeated incidents over the last year where the Russian military, including Russian military aircraft, have come close enough to each other or have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we continue to be concerned about this behavior,” Earnest said.
Russian planes have buzzed numerous ships over the past two years in the region, including the Donald Cook in the Black Sea nearly two years ago to the day.
The incident occurred as Washington and Moscow continue to clash on how to handle military operations in Syria and Ukraine. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria, told reporters on Wednesday in a briefing from Baghdad that he heard “the Russians are up to their old tricks again” in the European region, but did not provide additional details.
Click on the image to view the Tweet.
The news was first reported on Wednesday morning by The Wall Street Journal.
The Donald Cook recently made a stop in the Polish port of Gdynia, according to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Poland. The ship is one of four that the Navy sent forward recently from the United States to boost security in Europe. It carries an arsenal that includes rocket launchers, anti-submarine missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
• Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.
Read more on this topic:
• Top Navy admiral releases new plan to stay ahead of rivals at sea and prepare for combat