“USS Donald Cook’s commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.”
Vladimir Putin is acting out aggressively again. On Tuesday, Russian military jets flew extraordinarily close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Baltic Sea.
This wasn’t an isolated incident, either. According to various reports, the Russians carried out this maneuver multiple times over two days and American defense experts are stunned.
This report from the Military Times puts the incident in perspective:
Russian attack aircraft just flew within 30 feet of a U.S. Navy ship
In one of the most aggressive actions in recent memory, Russian warplanes conducted “simulated attacks” on the a U.S. Navy vessel in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, repeatedly flying within 30 feet of the ship, according to a defense official.
Sailors aboard the destroyer Donald Cook said the aircraft flew low enough to create wake in the sea waters surrounding the ship, and the ship’s commanding officer said the incident was “unsafe and unprofessional,” the defense official said.
“This was more aggressive than anything we’ve seen in some time,” according to the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because U.S. officials have not officially disclosed the incidents.
Sailors aboard the ship described the Sukhoi Russian Su-24 as “wings clean,” meaning there were no visible bombs or armaments on the aircraft, the defense official said.
The nature of the overflight as a “simulated attack” may violate a 1973 treaty between the U.S. and Russia that specifically prohibits this type of maneuver, the defense official said.
The maneuver was one of several aggressive moves by Russian aircraft on Monday and Tuesday.
Shortly after leaving the Polish port of Gdynia, near Gdansk, on Monday, the Donald Cook at was sea in international waters conducting flight operations with a Polish helicopter, part of routine joint training exercises with the NATO ally.
During those flight operations, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 combat aircraft appeared and conducted about 20 overflights, coming within 1,000 yards of the ship at an altitude of about 100 feet, the defense official said. In response, the commander of the Donald Cook suspended flight operations.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer showed the amazing footage and spoke with Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois who is a U.S. Air Force veteran. Kinzinger described the incident as “very dangerous.”
The U.S. Navy website offers a detailed account of what happened:
US Navy Ship Encounters Aggressive Russian Aircraft in Baltic Sea
A United States Navy destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft April 11 and 12.
USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship.
On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an allied military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local. One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship’s commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the area.
On April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship’s commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook’s commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.
The Navy also posted the videos below which are astounding to watch:
Putin is the bully on the corner who pushes people around, going further each time until someone stops him. It’s unclear at this time what, if anything, Obama will do about it.
Somewhere, Mitt Romney is shaking his head in disgust.
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