Raptors Perform First Intercept of Russian Bombers:

The newly stationed F-22 force at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, chalked up an operational first last month—scrambling to intercept and monitor two Russian Bear-H bombers on Nov. 22. Air Force magazine learned Dec. 14 that the Alaskan NORAD Region launched F-22s assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf and tanker and command and control aircraft to identify and monitor the two bombers. Region spokesman Maj. Allen Herritage confirmed also that the mission was the first time F-22s had been called to support a NORAD mission in Alaska, since Elmendorf received its first Raptors in August. The Alaskan NORAD Region conducts air surveillance on all aircraft entering Alaskan air space, utilizing Alaskan-stationed F-15Cs, E-3s, KC-135s, and now the F-22. This past summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin reactivated regular bomber patrols—a practice that had been dormant since the early 1990s.