GREAT FALLS, MT —After meeting with leaders at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls today and discussing the Chinese spy balloon incident, U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced his plan to introduce a bill to require a gap analysis of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) capabilities. The analysis would expose any limitations that have been or have the potential to be exploited by foreign countries that would allow air assets to enter North American airspace undetected. Daines also noted that the administration has not answered his questions from early February regarding details important to Montana regarding the balloon.
“The Chinese spy balloon fiasco and the subsequent shoot-downs that followed it was a national security embarrassment due to complete incompetence by the Biden administration. Since President Eisenhower founded NORAD 65 years ago, the United States did not shoot down a single aerial object identified by NORAD until February 2, 2023. Since then, the U.S. has shot down four. Two of these objects flew right over where I stood today at Malmstrom Air Force Base, where we operate our ICBMs—the most powerful weapons known to mankind. How was a Chinese spy balloon and subsequent flying objects able to invade the sovereign airspace of the United States of America? We must get to the bottom of how these objects incurred on American and Montanan airspace and ensure that never happens again,” Daines said.
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After the first spy balloon entered Montana’s airspace, Senator Daines was the first to demand a security briefing on the situation from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Since then, Daines has been actively calling on the Biden administration to take action and be transparent with Montanans.
Daines also released a list of questions for the Biden administration to answer at the security briefing. The administration has failed to answer these questions.