(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) released a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 14 about the interception of a Russian aircraft in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Monday, Feb. 13.

NORAD said it “detected, tracked, positively identified, and intercepted four Russian aircraft entering and operating” in ADIZ. The statement made clear that the Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace.

This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative. NORAD had anticipated this Russian activity and, “as a result of our planning, was prepared to intercept it,” NORAD said.

Russia resumed what NORAD called out-of-area Longe Range Aviation activity in 2007. Because of this NORAD has seen a yearly average of six to seven Russian aircraft intercepts in the ADIZ. The range of those intercepts per year is from none to 15.

The statement said, “NORAD also assesses that this Russian flight activity is in no way related to recent NORAD and U.S. Northern Command operations associated with airborne objects over North America during the last two weeks.”

Two NORAD F-16 fighters intercepted the Russian aircraft which included TU-95 BEAR-H and SU-35 fighter aircraft. Two F-35as one E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and two KC-135 Stratotankers supported the F-16s. NORAD said it routinely tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft in the ADIZ and escorts them out when necessary.

“NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar, and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform appropriate actions. We remain ready to employ a number of response options in defense of North America and Arctic sovereignty,” NORAD said.