The Pentagon admitted that it had been watching what was being called a Chinese surveillance ballon hovering over the United States skies for several consecutive days.
Brig. reported that a spokesperson for the Pentagon said that the United States had detected and was monitoring a satellite-based surveillance system. It is currently above the United States. Pat Ryder stated to NBC News that the balloon is currently over the United States. Chinese officials confirmed ownership of the balloon.
Ryder stated, “Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to prevent the collection sensitive data.” ”
“The official said that the balloon was in a window above Montana on Wednesday and that they could have taken it down. NORAD also sent aircraft including F-22 Raptors from Nellis Air Force Base, as well as airborne early warning planes called AWACs. But, the official would not say if the option was to shoot the balloon down with a U.S. aircraft,” NBC reported. According to air traffic controllers, the U.S. was conducting a special military mission.
According to Montana Free Press, “The Air Force [Air Force Base] Malmstrom has 150 intercontinental missiles silos in its 13,800-square-mile complex in central Montana.” ”
Biden declined Thursday afternoon to answer questions from reporters.
Officials claim that the balloon flew over Canada’s Aleutian Islands before landing over Mont. A senior defense official claims that the balloon is still orbiting somewhere in the United States.
Officials did not mention the threat of an EMP/dirty bomb but there has been plenty speculation on Twitter.
But, at least one Twitter user claimed that it was impossible for a balloon to launch an EMP attack.
Austin was at the time in the Philippines.
The leaders reviewed the threat profile and possible response options for China’s stratospheric balls and decided not to recommend its removal kinetically. President Joe Biden was presented with his options on Wednesday.
Administration officials confirmed that Biden had been briefed and that they had given a strong recommendation not to shoot down the balloon.
It is not surprising that a Chinese spy satellite broke into American airspace. It is not common for one of these satellites to hover for extended periods of time over a particular area.
A top official of the administration said to NBC that such activity has been documented over many years, even before the current administration.