Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, acting in “close collaboration” with the Director of National Intelligence, announced on Tuesday that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security had been directed to establish what’s being billed as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).
Per a DOD press release, the group is designed to serve as the successor to the Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. The restricted airspace presence of UAPs, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said in a separate Reuters-reported memo on Tuesday, “represents a potential safety of flight risk” and also raises possible “national security concerns.”
The timing of the DOD announcement is noteworthy. Just last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York gave an interview to Politico about a bipartisan push at the Senate level for the establishment of a new office dedicated to UAP investigations. That office’s name is listed in a proposed National Defense Authorization Act amendment as the Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office, with Gillibrand pointing to oversight and accountability as key components of the program.
In comments to Complex at the time, Luis “Lue” Elizondo—who previously directed the now-defunct Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and resigned from his position within the Pentagon back in 2017—said this bipartisan effort could prove to be “the catalyst” for making more information public.
“For nearly a century, the US intelligence community has quietly been studying UAP and their implications for humanity. During my time in government working this issue, I was privy to videos, photos, and other data that should be made available to the American people. This bipartisan legislation is the catalyst that will get us there,” Elizondo told Complex last week.
On Wednesday, Elizondo shared a number of tweets in response to the Pentagon announcement reminding his followers that “elements still exist in the Pentagon” that are downplaying the larger UAP issue. A new Pentagon group focused on UAP investigations, he added, is similar in its potential for problems to giving liquor cabinet keys and controls to an alcoholic.
“Before anyone gets too excited about the recent Pentagon announcement of a new UAP group, please consider the following: [The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence] is precisely the same organization that has underplayed and tried to kill the UAP effort for years,” Elizondo, who’s remained a vocal disclosure and defense advocate since his brief but impactful work with the Tom DeLonge-fronted To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA), said.
See more from Elizondo below, as well as additional commentary on the potential implications of a UAP investigation group of this variety.
Also on Wednesday, Christopher K. Mellon—another TTSA alum and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence—shared an open letter in which he argued that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence’s “inability” to effectively engage on UAP issues “is why so little has changed or been accomplished” since the early 2000s.