In the wake of a UFO report last summer, the Pentagon has announced the formation of a new group that will investigate reports of UFOs close to sensitive military areas.
The new Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group will specifically look at reports of Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP) near U.S. military facilities. UAP is the military term to describe what is known as UFOs or Unexplained Flying Objects.
"Incursions by any airborne object into our SUA (Special Use Airspace) pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges," said a Pentagon press release using the term that includes restricted military airspace, military operations areas, firing ranges and places restricted for national security and other uses.
In a memo outlining the group's formation, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote that unidentified aerial phenomena in special-use areas "represents a safety of flight risk to aircrews and raises potential national security concerns."
The new group will synchronize the Pentagon's efforts with other federal agencies "to detect, identify and attribute objects of interest in Special Use Airspace (SUA), and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security."
It will be overseen by the under secretary of defense for intelligence, who will head an executive council including the director of the Joint Staff and senior officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Last June, the U.S. intelligence community released a report requested by Congress that provided the first unclassified assessment of Unexplained Aerial Phenomena.
Compiled by the Navy's Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, that report could not explain 143 incidents and said 18 of them appeared "to demonstrate advanced technology." The UAP Task Force will now be absorbed into the newly formed group announced by the Pentagon.
The UAP report also identified the need to make improvements in the Pentagon's processes, policies, technologies and training to improve its ability to understand UAP.