America is turning Alaska into a strike force. What does Russia think about that?
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Definitely the idea that the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall continues to be a simple “good political wish”, but it is by no means true.
The two most powerful military forces continue to lengthen and replenish their armaments. Russia is increasingly securing its presence in the Arctic region by sending unequivocal signals to Washington. For its part, the United States has not backed down and is not giving Moscow a chance to think that it will change its position on the Russians.
Let’s just recall that last week BulgarianMilitary.com announced that Washington was already planning to send a huge F-22 and F-35 squadron to Alaska, giving a clear signal to Moscow and Beijing that everything was still to come. Finally, Washington assured the world that it would not allow a Russian invasion by deciding to build a deep-sea port in the Arctic Circle.
But the message from Washington is more than clear – nearly 150 fifth-generation fighters will be stationed in Alaska, the only single deployment of such an air force in the world. These figures become even more important when we do simple mathematics and come to the conclusion that 187 F-22s and 250 F-35s are actually in operation at the moment.
According to the latest information, the air base guaranteeing the security of Alaska received a total of 6 F-35 fighters within just three months. The base has thus become Washington’s northernmost fighter squadron, and a number of military experts suggest it could be a starting point for a US response almost anywhere in the world.
But not everything ends here. In addition to air force equipment, the Eielson military base in Alaska expects to now have doubled, even tripled personnel from soldiers, specialists and engineers, analysts and tacticians, which suggests that based on the condition of current personnel, what is expected to arrive as military units in the coming months until the end of 2021 is nearly 1,500 servicemen. In parallel with the entire process of redeploying troops, Washington will supplement the existing air base with additional aircraft, saying that by the end of 2021 the base should have at least nearly 60 more F-35 fighters. If we talk in numbers – nearly $ 500 million. it will cost the American taxpayer this pleasure in Alaska. But with a military budget of nearly $ 740 billion, that’s “pocket money.”
But why is the base in Alaska so important to the United States?
The average citizen would think that Alaska’s proximity to Russian Arctic bases is the main reason, but in reality it is not. The Alaska base is an important component of US defense, as it is part of the third wing of the US Air Force, integrated with the F-16 fighter jets from the Guam base, as well as the aerospace operations center and air support group. So, the logic of Washington to strengthen this flank against the background of the increased Russian presence in the region sounds not just logical, but obligatory.
Alaska’s proximity to the Russian border makes the state more than important to US defense, and the military base a mandatory part of Washington’s air force. However, let us not forget that patrolling and monitoring the situation in the Bering Sea is carried out from this very base, thanks to the only military airport there.
But, at the expense of the ability of the Air Force in the region, the ground forces are quite limited. The United States is fully aware of the need for a fully operational naval base in the region, which so far seems difficult to achieve due to the lack of large icebreakers and deep-sea facilities. However, it should be noted that the ground contingent in the region is armed with light armored vehicles, mainly Stryker armored personnel carriers.
However, if one reads carefully the approved military orders that the US State Department publishes daily, one will notice that very recently Washington has decided to provide nearly $ 620 million. precisely to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which must solve the problem of the existence of a fully functioning naval base in Alaska in the near future.
Dan Sullivan, a senator from Alaska, said earlier this year that Russian and Chinese icebreakers were totally changing the military presence in the Arctic, and if Washington wanted to change the scales or participate in politics in the region should allocate significant financial resources to this.
What does Russia think?
The Russian media is constantly seeking the comments and opinions of its current and former servicemen, who have proven to be successful military tactics and analysts, first in practice, then in theory. The Russian pilot, Major General Vladimir Popov, shared his opinion with the Russian edition Sputnik that according to him, the American air base in Alaska is well equipped, protected and effective, moreover, that it is part of the American air defense NORAD, and the fighters in it are the key to the success of Washington’s successful strike aircraft.
According to Popov, doubling the fighters in the Alaska region would increase, even double, Washington’s combat potential in the region, but these planes will perform primarily a defensive function, not an offensive one. There are strategic sites that deserve to be guarded and stealth fighters will serve precisely because of this, as their range will be limited.
The general also noted the potential of the Russian Air Force in the region, saying that at the expense of the Americans, Russia’s potential there is much more modest, talking mostly about Kamchatka, Sakhalin and the naval aviation of the Northern Fleet. According to him, if all the fighters in the region are assembled, there will be a mini flotilla of up to 65 fighters, which are inferior in combat power to their American counterparts with F-22 and F-35, therefore the Americans should not be afraid of Russian invasion, as Russia’s strategy in the Arctic is primarily defensive.
But at the same time, Popov stressed that once Washington takes steps to enrich Alaska with military technology, Moscow will do the same with the Arctic, and according to him, in addition to the already built radar systems in the region and the location of S-400 systems, Moscow will deliver dozens of interceptor fighters, modern equipment of the ground forces, etc.
Another veteran pilot of the Russian Air Force, Konstantin Sivkov, told a number of Russian media that the United States could actually cover the entire Kamchatka region with its F-35 fighters, but this did not bother him, as Russian MiG-31 interceptor fighters armed with large missiles range, as with the hypersonic Dagger missile have their ability to neutralize the effect of the F-35. He did not fail to emphasize that the presence of S-400 air defense systems, and soon the S-500, will have an impact on deterring the American invasion from this “virtual flank” of future military action.
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