US Navy Releases Photos of Chinese Spy Balloon Recovery Effort

Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover debris from a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, SC on February 5, 2023. (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy by Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Thompson)
The head of U.S. Northern Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck, said Monday the teams were taking precautions to safeguard against the chance any part of the balloon was rigged with explosives. The balloon was an estimated 200 feet (60 meters) tall and was carrying a long sensor package underneath, which VanHerck estimated was the size of a small regional jet.(Courtesy of the U.S. Navy by Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Thompson)

February 7, 2023 – In Breaking News – CNN

US Navy released photos Tuesday of its recovery effort of a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which US fighter jets shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

The photos from Sunday show sailors from a Navy explosive disposal team pulling debris from the deflated balloon onto a boat.

The debris recovered is being taken to an FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis as the US looks to understand the capabilities of the balloon.

(Using underwater drones, warships and inflatable vessels, the Navy is carrying out an extensive operation to gather all of the pieces of the massive Chinese spy balloon a U.S. fighter jet shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday. Courtesy of WCNC and YouTube. Posted on Feb 7, 2023.)

On Monday, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told reporters that the balloon was roughly 200 feet tall and carried a payload weighing more than a couple of thousand pounds.

US officials had been tracking the balloon for several days by the time it appeared in the skies over Montana.

President Joe Biden said over the weekend that he’d directed the US military to shoot down the balloon as soon as it was safe to do so, but officials said it posed a risk to civilians and property on the ground.

Gen. Glen VanHerck (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Gen. Glen VanHerck (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

“[F]rom a safety standpoint, picture yourself with large debris weighing hundreds if not thousands of pounds falling out of the sky. That’s really what we’re kind of talking about,” VanHerck said on Monday.

“So glass off of solar panels, potentially hazardous material, such as material that is required for a batteries to operate in such an environment as this and even the potential for explosives to detonate and destroy the balloon that could have been present.”

US officials also determined that the balloon did not pose a significant risk in its ability to gather intelligence.

A senior defense official said last week that the balloon had “limited additive value” from an intelligence collection perspective.

Nevertheless, VanHerck said Monday that he and the commander of US Strategic Command took “maximum precaution” to prevent China’s ability to collect intelligence.

(Learn More. In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 are seen leaning over a rigid hull inflatable boat and pulling in broad swaths of the balloon’s white outer fabric and shell structure.  Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Feb 7, 2023.)

Continue reading… US Navy releases photos of Chinese spy balloon recovery effort

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

  • Provides named sources
  • Reported by more than one notable outlet
  • Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos

Subscribe to the AST Daily News Alert Here.