Arizona Rep. Gallego requests Defense Department briefing on objects shot down over US

Feb 15, 2023, 11:00 AM

(Twitter Photo/@RepRubenGallego)...

(Twitter Photo/@RepRubenGallego)

(Twitter Photo/@RepRubenGallego)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona is seeking a briefing from the Department of Defense regarding objects that have been shot down over the United States recently.

In a letter Monday to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gallego requested details about the four high-altitude objects in U.S. air space and Canada, the first of which was a Chinese spy balloon shot down Feb. 4.

The Democrat’s request comes after amending the National Defense Authorization Act last year that encourages the collection of unidentified aerial phenomena data.

“It is imperative that we give this issue the time and attention it deserves. Therefore, I request a classified briefing by your department to provide Congress with further details on the four high-altitude objects,” Gallego, ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, said in the letter.

“We must identify any potential breakdown that put us in a position where we missed these high-altitude objects in the past and ensure that we do not miss them in the future.”

The Biden administration said the China balloon was able to collect intelligence signals as part of an aerial surveillance program that targeted more than 40 countries.

On Monday, the White House said the other three unidentified objects were flying at such a low altitude that it could pose a risk with civilian air traffic, but they did not have evidence to prove the objects were equipped for spying purposes.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Arizona Rep. Gallego requests Defense Department briefing on objects shot down over US