A strange flying balloon was observed by US Defense officials roaming around some of the sensitive sites in the States, which they believe is a surveillance balloon sent by Chinese Intelligence. As explained by these Defense officials, the balloon was seen roaming over the western state of Montana. The officials also said that they are extremely positive that this high-altitude balloon belongs to China. As of now, the Defense officials in the US have decided not to shoot down the balloon because of the danger of falling debris which could be lethal for someone. They said that US President Biden has been made aware of this situation and in the meanwhile waiting for official comments from China.
When this mysterious object was first cited by the Defense officials, it indeed created a situation of panic. Because of this, Lloyd Austin, the US Defence Secretary, and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, had a meeting on Wednesday. According to the local reports, seeing the scale of the threat, the Department of Defense had F-22 fighter jets ready in case the White House releases orders to shoot down this high-altitude balloon. The balloon was first observed traveling over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The balloon then made its way to the city of Billings in Montana after traveling through Canada. It was decided during this meeting between the US Defense Secretary and Secretary of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to not take any action of taking down the balloon. Since the discovery of the balloon on Wednesday, Defense officials have been tracking the balloon for any suspicious activities.
When the balloon was cited in the city of Billings, Montana, the US Defense officials became extremely cautious of this mysterious object. This is because Montana is home to one of three nuclear missile silo fields in the US. The Malmstrom Air Force Base is the home to the 341st Missile Wing of the Air Force Global Strike Command. Thus, it carries a higher importance in the US Military and artillery support. Hence, when this mysterious balloon was observed roaming above this site, the officials quickly commented that it was flying over sensitive military bases and locations to gather information. However, upon continuous tracking, the officials have said that the mysterious balloon will not be a massive threat to US Intelligence as the US Defence officials know the exact coordinates for the balloon and its possible travel path. The Defense officials are also actively tracking the balloon to have real-time whereabouts of this balloon.
Many believed that as the balloon was traversing freely into the US airspace, it would create issues for commercial and private flights in the region. To this, the Defense officials have said that the balloon has maintained a significantly high altitude which will keep it out of the way of any commercial flights. Meanwhile, the US Defence officials have conveyed their doubts to their Chinese counterparts and have also made aware of the embassies in Washington and Beijing.