The Pentagon has decided to upgrade the previously established unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) task force (UAPTF), which was led by the US Navy, into a new group that will operate under the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
The establishment of the “airborne object identification and management synchronization group” (AOIMSG) was directed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.
As a successor to the US Navy’s UAPTF, the AOIMSG will synchronize efforts across the Pentagon and the broader US government to detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace (SUA), and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security.
To provide oversight of the AOIMSG, the Deputy Secretary also directed the USD(I&S) to lead an Airborne Object Identification and Management Executive Council (AOIMEXEC) to be comprised of DoD and Intelligence Community membership.
“Incursions by any airborne object into our SUA pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges. DOD takes reports of incursions – by any airborne object, identified or unidentified – very seriously, and investigates each one,” the Pentagon said in an announcement.
As noted, this decision is the result of planning efforts and collaboration conducted by OUSD(I&S) and other DoD elements at the direction of Deputy Secretary Hicks, to address the challenges associated with assessing UAP occurring on or near DOD training ranges and installations highlighted in the DNI preliminary assessment report submitted to Congress in June 2021. The report also identified the need to make improvements in processes, policies, technologies, and training to improve the department’s ability to understand UAP.