Russia has increased its air activity over the Pacific Ocean since the start of the Ukraine crisis, including flights near the California coast and the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, the head of U.S. air forces in the Pacific said.
Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle said Monday the number of long-range Russian patrols around the Japanese islands and Korea had also increased "drastically" and there had been "a lot more ship activity as well."
"We relate a lot of that to what's going on in the Ukraine," Carlisle said at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
Carlisle showed a slide of a U.S. F-15 fighter jet intercepting a Russian "Bear" aircraft, the Cold War NATO name for Russia's Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber, over Guam.
"Certainly what's going on in Ukraine and Crimea is a challenge for us and it's a challenge for us in Asia Pacific as well as Europe," Carlisle said.