WASHINGTON — After solely eight months of existence, the Pentagon’s workplace tasked with investigating and monitoring UFOs — or unidentified aerial phenomena — will look past the celebrities for objects of curiosity.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon introduced that it renamed and expanded the authority of the federal government’s chief UFO workplace. Previously often called the Airborne Object Identification and Administration Group, the workplace will now be often called the All-domain Anomaly Decision Workplace, or AARO.
With the brand new title comes elevated duties, the Protection Division mentioned in an announcement. Whereas the group was principally centered on airborne and threats in house, the renamed workplace may also look into unidentified objects which might be submerged in water or deemed “transmedium.”
Transmedium sometimes refers back to the potential of an object to fly throughout a number of environments. For instance, an object may very well be thought of “transmedium” if it may fly by way of Earth’s ambiance along with one other setting, reminiscent of house or underwater.
The workplace’s new scope and title outcome from a provision of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act for fiscal 2022. The invoice included a provision to ascertain an workplace with duties that have been broader than these initially assigned to the previous workplace.
The renaming comes amid an uptick in curiosity in UFOs in Washington.
Congress takes renewed curiosity in situation
Earlier this yr, Congress held its first listening to on UFOs in over a half century. Through the listening to, lawmakers questioned Pentagon officers for extra details about sightings of UFOs, with many lawmakers voicing criticism a couple of lack of transparency surrounding the problem.
The Home voted final week to create a authorities system for reporting UFOs as an modification to this yr’s protection invoice. The modification would additionally compel present and former protection officers to disclose details about the phenomena.
In June 2021, the intelligence neighborhood launched a long-awaited report on what it is aware of a couple of sequence of flying objects noticed over the previous few a long time. The discharge of the report, whereas revealing little concerning the sightings, marked one of many first occasions the federal government acknowledged the mysterious sightings.
Along with investigating objects, the renamed workplace may also be tasked with synchronizing efforts throughout the Division of Protection and with different U.S. federal departments and businesses to detect and determine objects of curiosity close to places pertinent to nationwide safety, reminiscent of coaching areas or navy installations.
In circumstances the place a related object is recognized and deemed a hazard to nationwide safety, the workplace can be answerable for mitigating the menace.
Catherine Buchaniec is a reporter at C4ISRNET, the place she covers synthetic intelligence, cyber warfare and uncrewed applied sciences.