Lawmakers have urged for increased funding for the Pentagon’s unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) research office, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), following the release of the Biden administration’s budget request. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) expressed concern over the underfunding of the office for the second consecutive year.
Gillibrand, who chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, highlighted recent incidents involving unidentified aerial objects, stressing the need to improve our understanding of UAPs in US airspace. In response, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pledged to fully fund the AARO in the future and stated that the Pentagon requested $11 million for its research in the fiscal year 2024 budget.
Gillibrand has been focused on AARO funding and coordination since the office’s inception. In 2021, she introduced an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to replace the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force with the AARO. The restructuring aimed to enhance intelligence sharing between the Pentagon and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
According to the amendment, the ODNI is required to release an annual public report on UAPs. In February, Gillibrand and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote a letter signed by 12 other senators urging full funding for the AARO. However, the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget failed to provide any funding beyond basic operating expenses for the AARO.
As the debate over AARO funding continues, lawmakers remain committed to ensuring adequate support for this critical office, recognizing the importance of understanding and addressing UAPs in maintaining national security and aerial supremacy.
Keywords: Pentagon, unidentified aerial phenomena, AARO, budget request, funding, Kirsten Gillibrand, Lloyd Austin, National Defense Authorization Act, intelligence sharing, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (Source)
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