Two pairs of Russian bombers flew off the coast of California and Alaska on Independence Day, forcing the Air Force to scramble fighter jets and intercept both flights.
In the first incident, two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled from their base in Alaska to intercept two Tupolev Tu-95 long-range strategic bombers, according to a Fox News report.
The second incident, about 30 minutes later, occurred off the central coast of California. Two F-15s from an undisclosed location were scrambled to intercept another pair of Tu-95 Bear bombers, the report said.
It is unclear whether either pair of bombers was armed, but at no time did they enter U.S. airspace, according to defense officials.
According to Fox News, Russian President Vladimir Putin was calling President Obama to wish him a happy Fourth of July, at the same time the Russian bombers were in the air.
Congressional hawks see the moves as a veiled message by Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, according to presstv.ir.