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Biden establishing interagency team to study unidentified objects in US airspace


The White House said on Monday that President Biden will establish an interagency team to look into unidentified objects in U.S. airspace in light of three objects being shot down by the military over the weekend.

“The president, through his national security adviser, has today directed an interagency team to study the broader policy implications for detection, analysis and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose either safety or security risks,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a briefing.

Kirby said that the team will include “every element of the government” and is part of an effort to “redouble their efforts to understand and mitigate these events.”

The work of the team will also include outreach to private sector companies that produce weather balloons or other craft like the objects shot down this weekend. Kirby said the team will work to learn “who is up at that altitude, doing what, for completely legitimate purposes.” 

“I think we all recognize we need to probably have a better sight picture on that, and that’s why the president wants this interagency effort to take a look,” Kirby said.

The U.S. still does not know who owns the three objects, which were shot down by the U.S. military roughly one week after the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina. 

The first object was shot down on Friday off the northern coast of Alaska, the second was shot down on Saturday over frozen territory in northern Canada, and the third was shot down on Sunday over Lake Huron.

The interagency team was established as part of a four-part plan from the president in the aftermath of shooting down the objects, which also includes continuing to monitor the airspace, consulting with allies and partners, and briefing members of Congress and governors.

Since the objects were shot down in remote places, Kirby warned on Monday that it will take some time to collect the debris and assess what the objects are and what they were capable of. He said that the uncertainty of the surveillance capabilities of the objects in the U.S. airspace led to Biden’s orders for them to all be shot down.

Source: The Hill

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