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U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Navy carrier

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transited the Pacific Ocean toward the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to serve as the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier on Sept. 19.

WASHINGTON » The White House says the U.S. military scrambled fighter jets earlier this week to escort Russian bombers that flew near the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the Ronald Reagan was conducting a military exercise with South Korea in international waters in the Sea of Japan. He says Korean aircraft first intercepted the Russian planes.

Earnest says the Navy’s Carrier Air Wing Five launched four F/A-18 fighter jets to intercept the Russian bombers and escort them until they left the area. He says the situation didn’t result in a "significant confrontation."

The White House says it has urged Russia before to ensure its military follows generally accepted international protocols.

The nuclear-powered Ronald Reagan carries about 5,000 crewmembers and is based at Japan’s Yokosuka naval port.

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