‘Operation Stir Things Up’: US Sends Bombers Within 200km of St. Petersburg

March 26th, 2019 - by Marko Marjanović / Russia Insider

How would the US react if Russian bombers flew that close to Washington or NY?

(March 23, 2019) — NATO claims its rotation of fighter squadrons is a “policing mission”, i.e., it’s a defensive mission against the barbarian Russians who need policing. So then what is flying bombers, which are inherently an offensive weapon? Particularly the lumbering, eight-engine B-52 which is of little to no value in tactical roles against a heavily armed opponent such as Russia, but can deliver cruise missiles and nuclear bombs to level cities and bases.

Operation ‘Stir Things Up’—Task and Purpose:

Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier on Thursday that it had scrambled two Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets to intercept a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber which radar systems indicated was flying toward Russia’s borders, albeit at a considerable distance.

The ministry said the fighter jets had returned to base after the B-52 changed course and headed in the opposite direction. It did not say when the incident occurred.

The U.S. embassy in Poland said that B-52 bombers had flown to Lithuania and Poland on Wednesday to conduct interoperability training with NATO forces.

It said the planes, which were temporarily based in Britain, had carried out simulated bombing runs.

“Operating out of forward locations enables collective defense capabilities … needed to deter adversaries and assure our allies and partners,” it said in a statement.

Russian media reported that a B-52 bomber was spotted close to the border with Russia’s European exclave of Kaliningrad and the Leningrad region on Monday. At one point, the RBC news portal reported, the U.S. plane, which had flown from Britain, was less than 200 km (124 miles) from St Petersburg..

B-52s have an enormous range (14,000 km) and air-refueling capability. Even if a war broke out with Russia (and didn’t go nuclear in an instant) they would not operate from forward bases in Poland and Lithuania where they could be overrun by Russian ranks and destroyed on the ground by Russian land-to-land missiles.

They would operate from Britain, and fire off their cruise missiles from when they were still over Denmark. Taking them to Eastern Europen airfields and then paying a visit to Saint Petersburg serves no other purpose than to intentionally stir things up and hope for a Russian reaction so that NATO can continue to scare the continent about a supposed Russian menace.

In Show of Force, US Launches Missiles

Janene Scully / Noozhawk North County Editor

Twin contrails mark launch. One missile apparently fails.

(March 25, 2019) — A missile-defense test involving two launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base occurred Monday amid an unusual veil of secrecy.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., two weapons blasted off from underground silos on North Base, leaving parallel contrails visible in the skies above Santa Maria.

Vandenberg and Missile Defense Agency representatives remained mum about the upcoming test, although these missile-defense launches have been announced ahead of time for decades.

The test reportedly involved the Ground-based Midcourse Defense segment, which is designed to defend against a limited long-range missile attack.

In addition to hosting most of the previous flight tests, Vandenberg is home to four GMD interceptors with 40 others positioned at Fort Greely, Alaska.

At 11:10 a.m., a Vandenberg Public Affairs representative confirmed a missile test occurred but remained tight-lipped about details and said the Defense Department would release information later Monday. 

The secrecy surrounding the test hearkens back to the Cold War when Vandenberg launches occurred without official advanced notice. While the military kept the U.S. residents in the dark, the U.S. notified international governments so they did not mistake a rocket launch or missile test for an attack. 

Additional details were not immediately available.