Designate Esper on the 2d flying object shot down over Alaska


But first the White House says a military fighter jet shot down another object flying in U.S airspace Friday the object was detected near Alaska Thursday officials describe it as being roughly the size of a small car this comes just days after the U.S shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina with a payload of cameras and.

Antennas the size of three school buses Ouija Zhang is at the White House with more on the orders of President Biden the F-22 fighter jet shot down the unidentified object at 1 45 this afternoon success the White House says the U.S first detected the unmanned object last night flying at 40 000 feet.

Above the northern coast of Alaska and floating Northeast well within the range of commercial planes and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of Civilian flight and it came inside our territorial Waters and those Waters right now are frozen but inside territorial airspace and over territorial Waters Pentagon officials.

Said the latest object was shot down so quickly because it was over frozen water making it easier to recover and because its size would create less of a debris field it was much much smaller than the Spy balloon that we took down last Saturday roughly the size of a small car as opposed to a payload that was like two or three.

Pluses size right several military aircraft are now involved in the recovery effort off the coast of Alaska the object breached U.S airspace less than a week after the military shot down a Chinese spy balloon which also entered over Alaska before making its way over several States in seven days prompting bipartisan backlash over how long it.

Took it's good news that they're on alert now it still begs the question why they weren't on alert last week when the Spy balloon flew into our airspace today the U.S announced it added Chinese firms connected to Beijing surveillance balloon program to an export Blacklist so they won't have access to technology or goods from the U.S the White House.

Says it has not reached out to China about that latest object that was shot down Catherine Zhang thank you earlier we spoke with Former Defense secretary Mark esper just for some context are there sensitive U.S government installations in this region that might be of interest to an adversary like China.

Oh well sure I don't know the exact locations and and what's different about this object that entered the airspace today is it came in from the north as compared to the Chinese spy balloon that came in from the southwest along the aleutians uh last week but in Alaska we have you know our anti-ballistic missile Interceptor site we have army bases we.

Have Air Force bases uh we have a lot of military uh Personnel up there so yes there are things to see and learn about if it is indeed a surveillance balloon I think we need to you know withhold judgment here there's some things here that that we should uh we should wait and see and learn uh what DOD finds out once they have a chance to secure the.

Site recover the debris and get it back and have the forensics done this may end up being some type of weather balloon or scientific experiment or or climate research who knows but I think we need to withhold some judgment first as Secretary of Defense under President Trump did you have good Fidelity on China's use of balloons for intelligence.

Gathering well clearly not because we didn't learn that they were using these balloons until after the Trump Administration left that's according to this Administration so I was surprised last week when this first was announced about the Chinese surveillance balloon that was hovering above Montana and of course.

Eventually made its way to the east coast so it is uh it has pointed out as announced by uh the head of Northern command General van hurk that we have gaps in our air defense picture and those need to be closed and I hope hopefully they've already taken action to do so um maybe today's.

Demonstration of uh closing the Gap and shooting down this unidentified object is evidence of that but there's clearly work needs to be done in terms of addressing the Aerospace picture that we see as you know our government agencies are mostly focused on the skies and Chinese satellites this these balloons are.

Relatively low-tech is it kind of a workaround yeah it is and they assume they offer different capabilities we'll learn more once they have a chance to go through the wreckage it was pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean the past few days but the other other thing they have is they have persistence so they can sit up there at.

60 65 000 feet with some degree of maneuverability and propulsion and hover over a site in a way that a overhead satellite in space cannot do if this turns out to be confirmed that this aerial object is part of a Chinese program would it be an escalation yes it caused me a lot of concern if that is indeed what happened it would be.

Very very troubling it begs the question what is going on in Beijing are they purposefully doing this committing these Brazen acts to to test us provoke us or is there some disconnect between uh the pla the people's Liberation Army and their political leadership in the Chinese Communist party uh that's what concerns me most here is what's going on.

In Beijing if this is indeed another uh Chinese balloon big picture there was a tweet from Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska and he said we need to re-establish deterrence with regard to the Chinese president Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist party is the White House doing enough well I don't think they did enough on.

The front end I mean clearly they did the right thing by shooting it down eventually as it as it uh entered the Atlantic Ocean but we should have shot this spy balloon down as soon as it entered the United States airspace in the aleutians and certainly over Alaska and I think that you know said something to the Chinese about either our ability.

To technically detect the system or the political will we had to shoot it down and I think that's what Congress needs to discover in the coming days as they hold hearings is to find out what did we know when do we know it what was recommended and why was the decision made to not shoot the the balloon down uh until after traversed the United.

States all these are things that I'm sure the Chinese are asking as well Mark esper thank you thanks Catherine

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