The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to increase the budget of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which investigates and evaluates unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAPs, in the air and near space. The committee’s proposal is part of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.
The goal is to monitor and counter potential threats from China and other adversaries, especially after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down by U.S. jets when it flew over the U.S. territory. The House of Representatives has not disclosed its funding plan for the office yet. The final bills will be discussed later this summer.
“With aggression from adversaries on the rise and with incidents like the Chinese spy balloon, it’s critical to our national security that we have strong air domain awareness over our homeland and around U.S. forces operating overseas,” Gillibrand said in a statement.
The Senate bill covers more than just the office’s basic operating expenses, as the 2022 defense budget did last year. It also includes measures to reveal more of what they are finding, which will “reduce the stigma around this issue of high public interest,” she added.
As the Chinese spy balloon and the public interest in unexplained phenomena have shown, the U.S. needs to be more vigilant about what is happening in the upper atmosphere.
That is why Senator Gillibrand is pushing for more funding for the Pentagon office that investigates unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). The amount of funding is classified, but it is part of the Intelligence Authorization Act that the Senate passed.
The act also requires government contractors who have encountered any UAP data or material to report it to the Pentagon office within 60 days. Additionally, it gives more authority to Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the UAP office, to coordinate the government’s response to UAP.
Defense Scoop was the first to report on these changes in the intelligence bill.
Gillibrand has been advocating for more funding for the UAP office for a long time. In March, she questioned Defense Secretary Austin about why the administration’s budget request for 2024 did not include enough money for the UAP office.
Austin promised to support the office more in the future and said that the administration had asked for $11 million for the office. The Pentagon did not confirm this number.
“They just put a placeholder number on it,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told Military Times the week after the hearing. “Luckily, we’re not going to pay attention to [the Biden administration’s] budget numbers.”