GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Great Falls hosted a Russian surveillance plane taking aerial photos of military activities in the western U.S. as part of an international treaty.

Great Falls International Airport Director John Faulkner tells the Great Falls Tribune the plane used the airport as its base from last Tuesday to Sunday.

The Treaty on Open Skies has been signed by 34 nations in Europe and North America, along with Russia and Turkey.

The U.S. State Department says the treaty allows unarmed aerial observation of military forces and activities over the territories of the nations who sign. It is meant to improve mutual understanding and promote openness and transparency.

Faulkner says such operations are usually conducted from Air Force bases, but the Great Falls airport received training a few years ago to prepare for the possibility of hosting the Russian aircraft.

More In Pentagon & Congress
In Other News
US to boost military presence in Europe for Russia threat
Biden announced the permanent basing of a U.S. military garrison in Poland. He also said the U.S. is sending two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons to the U.K. and more air defense and other capabilities to Germany and Italy.
Turkey lifting objections to Sweden, Finland joining NATO
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had blocked the move, insisting the Nordic pair change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
Load More