ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The presence of Russian military assets caused a stir for U.S. commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea off Alaska this week, but the ships are only there to conduct war games, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.
“We were notified by multiple fishing vessels that were operating out the Bering Sea that they had come across these vessels and were concerned, so they contacted us,” Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow said.
The Coast Guard contacted the Alaskan Command at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which confirmed the ships were there as part of a pre-planned Russian military exercise that was known to some U.S. military officials, Wadlow said.
Wadlow did not have information about the scope of the exercise or how many Russian vessels were involved, referring those questions to the Alaskan Command.
Officials at the Anchorage base referred questions to Air Force officials at U.S. Northern Command, which could immediately provide more information on the Russian exercises.