US F-15s Scrambled to Intercept Russian Jets Over Baltic

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
February 6, 2022Updated: February 7, 2022

U.S. F-15 jets in Estonia were scrambled late last week to intercept Russian jets over the Baltic region, NATO confirmed.

On Feb. 4, NATO Allied Air Command revealed an intercept incident the day before, as tensions between the U.S.-led bloc and Russia remain on edge.

“US F-15Es scrambled and intercepted Russian fighters operating near Allied air space over the Baltic Sea while Norwegian and British aircraft intercepted Russian aircraft in flying from the Barents into the North Sea on Thursday February 3, 2022,” NATO said in a message on its website.

NATO’s air operations center then “ordered a scramble from the enhanced Air Policing detachment at Amari Air Base, Estonia,” to investigate and respond to “unknown aircraft near the Baltic region.

The incident involved at least five Russian aircraft, according to NATO’s statement.

“The U.S. F-15 aircraft positively identified two Russian Su-35s and two MiG-31s, which had not filed flight plans and were not communicating with Air Traffic Control,” NATO added. “During the intercept, it was confirmed that these fighters were escorting a Russian TU-154 transport aircraft. At no time did the Russian aircraft enter Allied airspace and all interactions were safe and professional.”

The incident comes days after the Biden administration sent additional air deployments to NATO’s primary Estonian base.

Six American F-15 jets landed in an Estonian airbase on Feb. 2 for a deployment lasting more than a week, according to the Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, U.S. troops and equipment landed in southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine on Feb. 6 following President Joe Biden’s orders to deploy 1,700 soldiers there amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds more infantry troops of the 82nd Airborne Division are still expected to arrive at the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport.

A U.S. Army Boeing C-17 Globemaster plane brought a few dozen troops and vehicles. Their commander is Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, who on Aug. 30 was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan following a widely criticized evacuation strategy as Taliban fighters swiftly took over the country and its capital, Kabul.

On Sunday, White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan claimed that Russia could invade Ukraine “any day” now.

“It could happen as soon as tomorrow or it could take some weeks yet,” he told ABC, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has put himself in a position with military deployments to be able to act aggressively against Ukraine at any time now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.