Palin Out of Loop on State Defense: Air Force

Despite pose, Palin not informed when Russian bombers approach Alaska
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 4:52 AM CDT
Sarah Palin walks along the grounds of the United Nations with television news anchor Katie Couric.   (AP Photo/CBS News, HO)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin doesn't get a phone call when US jets are scrambled to intercept Russian bombers off Alaska—despite her hints to the contrary, a NORAD spokesman told the New York Daily News yesterday. "She doesn't have any role," said the major. "The commander does not call the governor."  Palin told Katie Couric last week that her foreign policy experience includes keeping an eye on the Russians.

When "Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace, it's from Alaska that we send those out to make sure an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation," Palin noted. The candidate did show a keen interest at an Air Force briefing. "She was very interested in Russian long-range aviation," said the NORAD spokesman. Russian bombers have skirted American airspace 20 times during Palin's time as governor but never entered it.