Photo edit of the U.S. Senate building with a tech background. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Popacta
Photo edit of the U.S. Senate building with a tech background. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Popacta

Citing increased concerns over hostile forces possibly using small aircraft to attack the United States, a United States senator is asking U.S. armed forces commanders to come up with plans to fight back against “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND,) a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, met with General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), to discuss recent issues with unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and how to better address these national security concerns, Hoeven’s office reports. 

In that meeting, Hoeven outlined the resources and assets currently operating in the Grand Forks, North Dakota region that can play an important role in the Defense Department’s strategy for countering UAPs.

“Given the recent challenges of UAPs, it is vital that our nation develop an effective strategy for defending our airspace and homeland. As the head of NORTHCOM and NORAD, General VanHerck is in charge of securing our national airspace,” said Hoeven. “We had a good meeting and think that North Dakota has a lot of resources that could be brought to bear in terms of countering UAPs. We’ll continue to work with General VanHerck and others on addressing this very important defense issue for our country.”

Specifically, Hoeven outlined important capabilities and assets in Grand Forks, including:

  • The early warning radar at Cavalier Space Force Station.
  • The RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40, based at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
  • The MQ-9 Reaper, based at Hector Field in Fargo.
  • An MQ-9 variant flown by Customs and Border Protection out of Grand Forks.
  • Expanded radar coverage of North Dakota airspace in support of unmanned aircraft operations near Grand Forks and eventually across the state.
  • Unmanned aviation system (UAS) partnerships through the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.
  • University of North Dakota research and development of counter-UAS measures.

While referred to as “unidentified aerial phenomena” or “UFOs,” it is generally believed the large number of small unidentified aircraft reported across the United States are not extraterrestrial in origin.

It is believed, however, these crafts are drones, balloons, or other craft operated either by reckless civilians, or foreign nations and could be used to attack U.S. military assets or civilians.


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