(ALASKA) — A US Coast Guard vessel on routine patrol in the Bering Sea off Alaska accidently encountered a Chinese guided missile cruiser, two other Chinese naval vessels and four Russian Navy ships.
The missile cruiser was observed 86 miles north of Alaska’s Kiska Island by the US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball while on a routine patrol on September 19, the coast guard said in a statement on Monday.
Two other Chinese naval vessels and four Russian ships, including a destroyer, were spotted moving “in a single formation” as a combined surface action group operating in the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)”, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea encountered a People’s Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser, Renhai CG 101, sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, September 19, 2022. https://t.co/jInFcIblUq pic.twitter.com/Ax0pcte54h
— CoastGuardNews (@CoastGuardNews) September 27, 2022
The Hawaii-based Kimball, a 418-foot vessel, said the Chinese and Russian ships later broke their action group formation and dispersed.
The US Coast Guard said in the statement that the Kimball was now operating under the guidelines of matching “presence with presence” when it comes to “strategic competitors” who are operating in and around US waters.
A US C-130 Hercules aircraft had provided air support for the Kimball from the Coast Guard station in Kodiak, Alaska.
The Chinese and Russian naval encounter with the US coast guard vessel comes a month after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned of China’s growing interest in the Arctic and Russia’s military build-up there.