Keep peacekeepers in your thoughts

News earlier this week that B-52 bombers from Minot Air Force Base were intercepted by Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea and Baltic Sea was disturbing.

Not disturbing because near disaster was averted – it didn’t escalate to that level – but because we were reminded of the dangerous role our friends and neighbors in the Air Force have on the world stage. Being policeman to the world is serious business.

We need to remember that we might be a sleepy little town in the Midwest but some of our residents in the military put their lives on the line every day to keep us and our allies safe.

“Intercepts are routine and take place on a regular basis. The vast majority are conducted in a safe manner,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla Gleason told the Minot Daily News. That is both reassuring and alarming, at the same time.

Yes, life goes on as normal in Minot – in fact in much of the world – because of the strength of the U.S. military.

In case you missed the specifics, several news agencies reported Russia said it sent fighter jets to intercept multiple U.S. Air Force B-52s flying over both the Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions on Monday. In one of the encounters, the Russian reports claimed one of the bombers was flying directly toward the Crimean Peninsula.

While that might sound provocative, even reckless, the alleged behavior doesn’t remotely compare to the danger Russian pilots have put our ships and aircraft in many times in the past few years.

We can only hope that if a mishap occurs in the future that cool heads will prevail. Intent, as President Trump realized in the downing of a U.S. drone, should not be lightly considered.

In the meantime we should keep the men and women who serve us 24/7 in our hearts and prayers. Theirs is a dangerous calling.

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