A balloon is flying over the US and the Pentagon is tracking
According to a senior Pentagon official, the U.S. military is currently following a suspected Chinese spy balloon over Montana.
According to Pentagon Press Secretary Brig, the government of the United States has identified and is following a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is currently above the continental United States. Gen. Pat Ryder in a statement on February 2.
The Pentagon is extremely confident that the balloon originates from China, according to a senior defense official who spoke to reporters.
According to a report by NBC that cited three unidentified government officials, the high-altitude surveillance balloon allegedly passed over Canada and the Aleutian Islands before entering Montana’s airspace.
On February 1, 2023, a balloon flies in the sky above Billings, Montana, in this social media-sourced image. Ryder claimed that the balloon had been detected by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) a few days ago and that the military had taken measures to conceal any sensitive information that might have been observed from such a craft. (Chad Doak/via Reuters)
Ryder stated that the U.S. government, which includes NORAD, continues to closely track and monitor it. In the past, instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed over the course of several years. At the moment, the balloon is traveling at an
altitude that is significantly higher than that of commercial air traffic, and it does not pose a military or physical threat to people on the ground. A senior defense official stated that Pentagon leadership, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin,
held a meeting to determine whether or not the balloon should be shot down, but ultimately decided against that course of action due to the risk to the safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field. The official declined to specify the exact dimensions of the balloon, but the Pentagon assessed that the balloon, which is traveling in the atmosphere over U.S. airspace, is large enough to cause damage from the debris field if we downed it over an
Using an acronym for the Chinese regime’s official name, the People’s Republic of China, the official stated, “Our best assessment at the moment is that whatever the surveillance payload is on this balloon, it does not create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit.”
However, we have taken additional precautions to mitigate the risk. I won’t go into detail about those. However, we are aware of precisely where this balloon is and what it is passing over. The official continued, “We are taking steps to be extra vigilant so that we can mitigate any risk of foreign intelligence.”
This kind of surveillance balloon has crossed into the United States several times in recent years; however, the official says that the length of time it has been over U.S. airspace makes it stand out.
The official added that the Pentagon has urgently engaged PRC officials through a number of channels, including the Chinese and U.S. Embassies in China and the United States.
The official stated, “We have communicated to them the seriousness with which we take this issue,” but declined to provide additional information regarding the content of its message to China.
The official declined to speculate when asked if China wanted the ballon seen.