Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, GOP Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, issued a warning that the U.S. doesn’t have “adequate radar” amid a recent series of incursions by unidentified objects into U.S. airspace in recent weeks.
“We don’t really have adequate radar system, and we certainly don’t have an integrated missile system. We’re going to have to begin to look at the United States airspace as one that we need to defend,” said Turner on CNN’s State of the Union. “This shows some of the problems and gaps that we have.”
A chorus of lawmakers has urged the Defense Department to ramp up its radar systems since the suspected Chinese balloon flew across the mainland United States for several days until it was shot down on February 4.
There have been several multiple aeronautical anomalies in the same period. Saturday, an American F-22 fighter jet shot down an unidentified object over Canadian airspace after it had crossed over Alaska. The shooting came after another sighting of an unidentified cylindrical object on Friday, where the pilots grappled with identifying a propulsion system.
“They do appear somewhat trigger-happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over to our most sensitive sites,” said Turner.
Montana airspace closed Saturday amid military activity
Saturday airspace over Montana was shut down amid possible sightings of suspicious objects in the air and amid a flurry of military activity that was later thought to be a radar anomaly.
Rep. Turner indicated he wasn’t briefed on some of the most recent developments, which he said was “particularly annoying,” and asserted “there needs to be more engagement within the administration and Congress.”
“Probably they’re a little hesitant after the Chinese balloon fiasco, where they let it go across the country to great criticism — bipartisan, bicameral criticisms from Congress,” added Turner. “I think it’s certainly a new, recent development that you have China being so aggressive in entering other country’s airspace.”
Rep. Turner also spoke out on the classified document controversy surrounding President Joe Biden, former President Mike Pence, and President Donald Trump.
“Members of Congress, who like me, deal with classified information — we’re all just stumped. We don’t understand how this could be happening. We don’t understand how all three could have been so lackadaisical. These are critically important documents,” contended Turner.