Military officials said Monday that vessels participating in a Russian naval exercise in international waters off Hawaii are beginning to move away from the islands.
Capt. Mike Kafka, a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokesman, said the closest Russian ships were confirmed to have come within 20 to 30 nautical miles off Hawaii.
“We closely tracked all vessels,” he said.
“The Russian vessels are transiting west and are out of the Hawaii Operation Area. As part of our normal daily operations, we continue to track all vessels in the Indo-Pacific area of operations through maritime patrol aircraft, surface ship, and joint capabilities.”
During the Russian naval exercise, military officials scrambled F-22 Raptors at least twice from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. A US carrier strike group was also moved closer to Hawaii.
The exercise was the largest in the Pacific conducted by the Russian Navy since the end of the Cold War. The exercise included surface ships, anti-submarine aircraft and long-range bombers.