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Hampton Roads military plays a big part in Chinese balloon take-down

Hampton Roads military plays a big part in Chinese balloon take-down
A Langley AFB F-22 fires the missile while three Hampton Roads-based Navy ships are leading the effort to recover the wreckage.

Author: Mike Gooding

NORFOLK, Va. — Members of the Hampton Roads military played key roles in the takedown and recovery of the suspected Chinese spy balloon.

The Pentagon said the device was carrying sensors and surveillance equipment, was maneuverable, and showed it could change course.

The United States shot the orb down over the weekend after it made its way off the coast of South Carolina and six miles out over the Atlantic Ocean.

A posting on the Department of Defense website said an F-22 Raptor fighter from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon.

The DOD release also said, “The Navy has deployed the destroyer USS Oscar Austin, the cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the USS Carter Hall, an amphibious landing ship in support of the effort” to recover debris.

Oscar Austin and Philippine Sea are homeported at Naval Station Norfolk; Carter Hall’s homeport is JEB Little Creek in Virginia Beach.

China insisted that the balloon was just an errant civilian airship used for meteorological research that went off course due to winds. The United States said it was unquestionably a spy balloon.


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