NORAD failed at least 3 times to spot Chinese balloons entering U.S. airspace

The failure of the US military in the past to detect Chinese balloons entering US airspace is a major security flaw that the Pentagon must address, said Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, Commander, of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, during a press briefing on Monday.

USNORTHCOM is responsible for homeland defense, civil support, and security cooperation in order to defend and protect the U.S. and its interests. NORAD provides aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for North American defense.

“So those balloons, so every day as a NORAD commander it’s my responsible to — responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out. But I don’t want to go into further detail.

“The intel community, after the fact, I believe has been briefed already, assess those threats to additional means of collection from additional means and made us aware of those balloons that were previously approaching North America or transited North America,” he said when asked if NORAD had tracked Chinese balloons in U.S. airspace on several earlier occasions.

According to White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby, at least three incidents of Chinese hot air balloons entering US airspace have been reported since Democrat Joe Biden came into office.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that Chinese balloons were spotted at least three times over US territory during the administration of the previous president, Republican Donald Trump. This information, however, was made public only “with the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House.” This explains why former President Trump and senior government officials denied that Chinese balloons had previously violated US airspace, according to the organization.

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