U.S Trawlers Spot Russian Sub 80 nautical miles west of St. Matthew Island

A Russian submarine surfaced near Alaska on Thursday during a Russian war game exercise, U.S. military officials said.

Vessel tracking information on Wednesday and Thursday showed a fleet of pollock trawlers and longliners about 80 nautical miles west of St. Matthew Island, on the American side of the boundary. Among the ships are vessels from American Seafoods and Trident Seafoods. Both companies declined to comment on the record.

The story states that the sub surfaced in international waters, if this is true, what is the issue?

We had 4 foreign military ships inside our EEZ interfering with our fishing fleets operation and safe navigation.

It’s their way of saying “a friend of Putin is a friend of ours” and they just wanted to say hello.


This is from the article you posted, in what way did the Russian Naval Vessels interfere with U.S. vessels?

A ship from any nation may be in the EEZ, you simply may not engage in economic activity, such as oil drilling or fishing

How much do you know about trawling in general and the Pollock fishery in particular? It’s difficult to know how to answer that without knowing what you know.

I was there. They weren’t just out for a casual cruise and happened to have to make passing arrangements with a couple trawlers. They were intentionally being provocative. They attempted to interfere with fishing operations.

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Russia’s Pacific Fleet has claimed that the surfacing of the guided-missile submarine Omsk in the Bering Sea off Alaska yesterday was “routine,” despite it being a highly unusual event that set of alarm bells within the U.S. military.

“Routine” in Russia speak can mean they had some problems and had to surface while repairs were underway.


Or maybe it was just a “Freedom of Navigation” exercise to show that they have the right to operate in internationals waters, just like it says in the UNCLOS?

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Get help, you need it.


Do you guys keep track of your subsea gear with transponders? Any interference?

The Ruskis are infamous for spoofing trawl sonars and their subs even eject clouds of subsea chaff to create decoy schools of Pollock.

We do, I’ve never heard of them spoofing a trawl sonar or ‘ejecting clouds of subsea chaff to create a decoy Pollock school’ which sounds like some horseshit somebody made up. Their subs passive sonar can detect our net sounder active sonar a long way off and they stay clear.

“Three warships and two support vessels of theirs were coming and would not turn,” Elliott said, in an interview over the Vesteraalen’s satellite phone. “And they came marching right through the fleet.”

Vesteraalen. Nice name for a trawler. Here is the place she is named for:

Guess I shouldn’t have left out the sarcasm emoji. Just never thought anyone would do anything but laugh at the absurdity.

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The Russian Navy held a major exercise in the area of the Bering Sea, not just a submarine and a few surface ships:

PS> The US Navy and USCG were informed in advance and at no time did any Russian warship or aircraft enter US territorial waters/air space.

Where does that info come from?

This is what the linked article says:

The Coast Guard contacted the Alaskan Command at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which confirmed the ships were there as part of a pre-planned Russian military exercise that was known to some U.S. military officials, he said.

When “some in the US Military know” don’t they share that with others?
In any case, it is not unusual that Russians exercise in Russian EEZ, but a bit more unusual that the US exercise in the Barents Sea near the Russian Naval Bases in Kola:

At least it has been unusual until recently.

BTW; Isn’t there a treaty about mutual advanced notification on major military exercises?

They were not in the Russian EEZ. Maybe that is a typo on your part.

At any rate, the issue is not the presence of Russian military vessels but their behavior. The fishing fleet had been in that area for weeks, in some cases months. There was no call to attempt to interfere with American fishing vessels in our EEZ nor to attempt to exclude us from hundreds of square miles of ocean. If American Navy vessels behaved this way in the Russian EEZ they should be censured as well.

This is far from the first time American fishing vessels have encountered Russian Navy vessels. It’s the first time they have attempted to arbitrarily exclude us from conducting fishing operations in our EEZ and hopefully the last.