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Sat, May 06, 2023

USAF F-22s Intercept High-Altitude Balloon

Again …

On Friday, 28 April 2023, the U.S. Air Force scrambled three F-22 fighter jets for purpose of assessing what turned out to be a high-altitude balloon in the vicinity of Hawaii’s Big Island.

In a 01 May statement, Honolulu-based U.S. Indo-Pacific Command set forth: “U.S. Indo-Pacific Command responded to an unidentified radar signature Friday in the vicinity of the island of Hawaii. Pacific Air Forces launched three F-22s to assess the situation and visually identified a spherical object.”

The statement identified the spherical object as a balloon, which the Raptors monitored awhile before concluding “it posed no threat.”

The sighting evoked still-fresh memories of the highly-publicized, February 2022 flight of a Chinese spy balloon across the mainland U.S. Subject communist surveillance platform was shot down by a USAF F-22 on 04 February as it passed over South Carolina’s Atlantic shore.

In a separate statement, the U.S. Department of Defense reported the Hawaii balloon had been detected at FL360 by both the Pentagon and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The DOD statement contended the balloon had overflown neither “critical” defense infrastructure nor sensitive government sites, adding: “Ownership of the balloon is unknown, but there is no indication that it was maneuvering or being controlled by a foreign or adversarial actor.”

The DOD stated, also: “Based on these observations, [Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin] concurred with the recommendation of his military commanders that no action need be taken against the balloon.”

The balloon is no longer in Hawaii’s airspace or over territorial waters. A legacy media outlet reported on Monday, 01 May that the balloon was moving toward Mexico.

FMI: www.af.mil

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