Sullivan Statement on Unidentified Object Shot Down in Alaska Airspace

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement after an unidentified object flying in Alaska airspace was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet.

“Like all Alaskans, I appreciate and am proud of the professional work of our Alaska-based military. Today’s shoot-down of another unidentified object over Alaska takes skill, precision, discipline and proficiency. These exceptional Americans have been working overtime on this challenge, including not just tracking and intercepting this latest incursion, but also the Chinese spy balloon from last week, and several other unidentified flying objects over Alaska in the past few weeks.

“I appreciated the senior Defense Department officials who briefed me this morning on the sighting of this latest object. As I’ve been doing for the past week, including in a classified briefing with senior Pentagon officials yesterday, I strongly encouraged the NORTHCOM Commander this morning to shoot down this latest unidentified intrusion into Alaska air space. I commend them for doing so today.

“As I reiterated with senior Defense Department officials yesterday, we need to reestablish deterrence with regard to Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party which believes they can willfully infiltrate American airspace whenever they want. That has to stop. The best way to do this is through the type of actions that we’ve taken today in Alaska and to publicly reiterate that we will be shooting down any and all unknown aircraft that violate our airspace. We also need to appropriately equip our military in Alaska with the sensors and aircraft needed to detect and, if necessary, destroy everything from slow-moving balloons to hypersonic missiles. Alaska is the frontline of defense for our nation. The past few weeks have made this even more evident.” 

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