SITREP – Surveillance Balloon Shot Down
What has Happened:
- The Chinese surveillance balloon that crossed over the U.S. this week was shot down by a U.S. F-22 on Saturday afternoon.
- The spy balloon was about six miles off the coast of South Carolina and flying at an altitude of between 60,000 and 65,000 feet when it was shot down.
- U.S. officials are now closely watching China’s reaction and whether the Chinese military will retaliate against American assets in any way.
- U.S. efforts to recover pieces of the balloon and its sensor payload are currently underway.
“With regards to timing, the goal was to shoot down the balloon over the ocean. I am 100% sure that there is a recovery team executing exploitation. It is a huge payload and I am certain that they will bring all of it back to the U.S. and we will hear more. I have heard that there is a similar balloon over Brazil so China’s line that it is an errant weather balloon is not accurate. The Secretary of State was correct to cancel his China visit since this is one of many recent surveillance episodes by China. They are watching multiple U.S. military bases to see U.S. tactics. The Chinese are watching Marines closely as they assume Marines would respond to a Taiwan fight. This is ill timed for China and will fuel bipartisan support against China at home.” - General Frank Kearney