1st part of some information gathering on USAF strategic flights regularly promoted as " routine training" and "reassurance missions" for NATO allies and also to deter 'adversaries' or 'competitors'.
UPDATED INFOGRAPHICS 24 Sept.
Here's my first stab at trying to visualise the various B-52, B-1 and B-2 flights since May with a timeline of reported flights, with the addition of noteworthy naval exercises in the "High North", in particular in the Barents Sea, not far to the Russian Northern Fleet HQ on the Kola peninsula.
It was a lengthy task to compile the details so there is certainly some omissions, so consider this as WORK IN PROGRESS. It is meant to give an indication of the unprecedented tempo and type of flights, along Russian borders, (Baltic Sea, Barents Sea, Arctic region, Laptev and Okhotsk Sea.
September has been particular busy, in stark contrast to the total numbers of flights for previous years (since 2015). The USAF did not deploy as often as it has been lately.
In my last article, I only highlighted information from intelligence-gathering air missions, as reported by the Russian MoD. On September 11th, the Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Sergei Surovikin, gave a briefing to defence attachés, in which he noted that:
"we recorded mainly the actions of reconnaissance aircraft, but recently the number of combat aircraft flights has increased."( Collapse )