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    3 Hampton Roads-Based Ships Involved in Recovering Wreckage of Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon

    3 Hampton Roads-Based Ships Involved in Recovering Wreckage of Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A weeklong saga that had much of the country watching the skies for the small white speck — that federal officials believe was a Chinese spy balloon — ended with a “bang” delivered by a fighter jet stationed at Langley Air in Hampton.

    The F-22 from Langley's 1st Fighter Wing fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon. The large white orb — with what looked like a satellite-esque structure on the bottom — was destroyed about six miles off the South Carolina coast Saturday afternoon, according to the Department of Defense.

    No one was injured in the operation and the balloon never posed a military or physical threat, defense officials said. Navy and Coast Guard vessels are engaged in a recovery effort, which is expected to be “fairly easy” because the water where the balloon was shot down was only about 47 feet deep, according to the DOD.

    Three Hampton Roads-based ships are involved: the Oscar Austin and USS Philippine Sea from Norfolk, and the USS Carter Hall from Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

    “Today's deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the safety and security of the American people first while responding effectively to the (People's Republic of China's) unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J….

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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