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The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, or SSCI, recently passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (IAA) on a unanimous vote. Among a range of priorities, the bill included provisions to significantly bolster the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF). 

Specifically, the bill mandates that the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense require their constituent elements to provide “data relating to unidentified aerial phenomena” to both the UAPTF and the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center. The bill also requires that congressional defense and intelligence committees receive a classified quarterly briefing on UAP events from either the UAPTF or an entity such as the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Each briefing is to report any new incidents, as well as any incidents that have not been covered by previous briefings. The inclusion of past events that have not otherwise been reported to the UAPTF appears to create a potential historical mandate to review UAP incidents from sources that the UAPTF has not had access to or that have not been cooperative in furnishing info to the task force. 

The bill is notable for its inclusion of the Air Force via the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), which has been conspicuously absent from the dialog concerning UAP. Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, NASIC describes itself as “the Department of Defense’s primary source for foreign air and space threat analysis.” Strangely, in recent years the Navy has taken the lead on the UAP issue, despite the Air Force’s clear responsibility for defending American sovereign airspace.

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