A Russian military aircraft surveyed strategic US military installations last week in a series of overflights permitted under the Open Skies treaty, state-run RIA Novosti reported. “Within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies a group of Russian inspectors plan to conduct an observation flight on a Russian Tupolev Tu-154M-LK-1 observation aircraft over the territory of the United States,” said Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia’s nuclear risk reduction center, in the Dec. 12 report. The aircraft and crew staged from Travis AFB, Calif., accompanied by a US delegation to ensure treaty protocols were observed during the four-day visit, base spokesman TSgt. Patrick Harrower confirmed to Air Force Magazine, Dec. 12. As of last month, Air Force’s OC-135 Open Skies aircraft had flown a total of 17 observation flights over Russia, including surveys of military forces in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.