Russian Su-24 fighters buzzing the USS Donald Cook April 11 and 12 in the Black Sea. US Navy/YouTube
Brent Ramsey, RCD: The Navy's 5 most dangerous at-sea deployments
The pair of Russian fighters were coming in fast and very, very close.
They were not the first Russian Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer aircraft that sailors aboard the destroyer Donald Cook had ever seen -- but they were certainly the closest.
“Oh my God!” one Cook sailor was heard exclaiming in a way that sounded like an open question of whether something might be going catastrophically wrong – a game of chicken where no one blinks and sailors die.
“Clear the bridge wing!” another voice can be heard shouting.
A second, maybe two, before what might have been a collision, the Russian jets pulled up, screaming over the Donald Cook’s superstructure and fantail just 75 feet overhead. The dramatic moments were captured as part of the extended videos of the events released by the Navy.
The April 2016 incident that occurred in the Baltic Sea near the shore of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad drew condemnation from the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon, which called Russia’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional.” These kinds of actions, Navy officials said, could lead to a miscalculation and accidents.
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WNU Editor: I concur .... with the Yemen war showing no signs of ending, and with the Houthi side targeting naval vessels that are enforcing the blockade .... that the waters off the cost of Yemen (The Bab-el-Mandeb choke point) are probably the most dangerous.