FRANK01: The Meaning Behind the Callsign That Downed the Chinese Balloon

The two F-22 Raptors from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base involved in the downing of the Chinese ISR balloon had the callsigns “FRANK01” and “FRANK02,” which was named in honor of WWI pilot Frank “Balloon Buster” Luke Jr. First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. was credited with 19 aerial victories, 14 of which were German balloons. His final flight was on September 29, 1918, where he destroyed three German balloons and engaged ground targets while he was being pursued by several German  aircraft over Murvaux, #France. He was mortally wounded by ground fire, which forced him to land in a nearby field. Luke exited his aircraft and opened fire on approaching German soldiers before succumbing to his wounds.Luke was the first airman...

FAA Re-Opens Airspace Over NC and SC after Balloon is Shot Down

The FAA has officially re-opened the air space above NC and SC after the Chinese balloon was shot down. They grounded flights along with restricting certain areas of air in accordance with "national security concerns". The balloon was shot down over the coast to avoid debris, during the operation civilian and commercial flights were told to stay away from the area to avoid a potential collision or interference with the operation. There are coastal crews waiting to retrieve the debris.

Exclusive: Footage of Chinese Balloon Downing

Footage of USAF F-22 Raptors downing the Chinese ISR balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, taken by our very own Filthy American.  

BREAKING: Chinese ISR Balloon Shot Down Off Carolina Coast

The Chinese ISR balloon that has been drifting through the United States for the past several days has been engaged by USAF air assets off the Carolina coast. It may take a bit for the balloon to splash down due to its current height operation. United States military officials have previously stated that they were hesitant of downing it as its debris could be a danger to those on the ground. The military intends on shooting it down once it is over the ocean, where they will then recover the air ship. Navy and Coast Guard vessels are sitting off the coast ready.

USAF F-22 Raptors Airborne Off Carolina Coast, Downing of Chinese Balloon Likely Imminent

Flight radar shows that two USAF F-22 stealth fighters, along with other military air assets, are airborne and circling off the coast of the Carolinas. Chinese ISR balloon last spotted off coast of Myrtle Beach. Flight restrictions active for civilian aircraft in the area. Downing of the balloon is likely imminent.

ABC: US to Down Chinese Balloon Over Atlantic

US defense officials have told ABC News that they intend on downing and recovering the Chinese ISR balloon while it is over the Atlantic Ocean. Officials have previously stated that they did not want to down the balloon over the United States as its debris could pose a danger to people on the ground. USAF air assets are currently circling off the coast of the Carolinas, awaiting the Chinese air ship.

EU Leaders Agree on New Price Caps for Russian Petroleum

European Union officials announced on Friday that they will implement a price cap of $100 per barrel of diesel and $45 for every barrel of fuel oil. This announcement comes two months after the original $60 price cap on seaborne crude oil. The EU plans to implement the cap on February 5. The U.S. and some other G7 countries have already implemented the cap. The G7 plans to enforce the price cap by banning shipping companies from accessing insurance, brokerage, and financing services if they transport Russian petroleum that was sold for more than the cap allows for. The Russian leadership has responded by the sale of petroleum products to countries that abide by the cap. EU representatives say they’ll review the cap every...

Pentagon Reports Second Chinese Balloon over Latin America

In a statement to CNN, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon." Since yesterday, there had also been increasing reports of a similar balloon transiting over Costa Rica.

Chinese Balloon Reportedly Spotted Over St. Louis, MO

Local media outlets have reported the possible sighting of the Chinese balloon over the city of St. Louis as it continues to drift eastward. The balloon is believed to have passed by Whiteman AFB earlier in the day after drifting over Kansas City. A trajectory model published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows several potential path the suspected military ISR balloon can travel. United States military officials have not commented or confirmed the location of the balloon or its current trajectory, having noted the aircraft is maneuverable.  

Chinese Balloon Reportedly Spotted Over Missouri

The National Weather Service of Kansas City, Missouri, has reported that a large balloon has been spotted over the area, further confirming it is not theirs. USAF aircraft up and active over the area. This positioning falls in line with the suspected travel route of the Chinese balloon that was spotted in Montana yesterday. The Pentagon has not confirmed the developed, but has also said it would not be providing regular updates on the balloon's location

Ukraine Pushes Criminal Case on Wagner CEO

Ukraine has announced that it will be pressing criminal charges on Wagner group boss "Yevginy Prigozhin" for violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity and for aggression on the battlefield. The Prosecutor General of Ukraine named Andriy Kostin believes that Wagner and the soldiers they recruited are responsible for multiple war crimes across the wars many fronts. They look to ensure that all ranks and personnel involved are held accountable and are relying on international cooperation to make it so. This comes after a former commander was arrested in Norway for similar charges. The Prosecutor General has expressed a willingness to prosecute those who have abandoned the group as well. The commander who was captured is named Andrey Medvedev and he has supposedly expressed a willingness to speak out...

25 US Senators Give Turkey an Ultimatum

On Thursday 25 US senators told the White House that they would not approve an arms sale to Turkey unless Ankara stops blocking NATO ascension for Sweden and Finland. The announcement was made through a letter signed by the 25 senators. The arms sale they were referring to is a deal for 40 new F-16 jet fighters and 79 modernization kits. The letter stated, “Congress cannot consider future support for Turkey, including the sale of F-16 fighter jets, until Turkey completes ratification of the accession protocols.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the parliament in Ankara on Wednesday that “there would be a price” to pay if the US backs out of the arms deal. Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told CNN International, “We have been developing our...

US Military Believes Chinese Balloon is Targeting Sensitive Sites

American Defense officials have told the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press that there is "very high confidence" that the Chinese ISR balloon currently drifting over Montana flew over sensitive military sites to collect information. One likely target is the Malmstrom Air Force Base, which operates Minuteman III ICBMs. Ballons have long been used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operates due to they ability to operate at high altitudes for long periods of time. This balloon is believed to have entered the United States from Canada after passing through the Aleutian Islands. So far there have been no confirmed plans to down the balloon. Washington is in contact with Beijing over the incident, which may impact Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to...

Serbia Announces They Don’t Intend on Joining NATO

The announcement was made by Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, on Thursday during a special parliamentary session debating negotiations regarding Serbia’s breakaway region of Kosovo. The President said, “This morning, I heard nonsense from fake patriots saying that we are leading Serbia towards the Atlantic integration. We don’t. We will continue to maintain our military neutrality and, unlike those who destroyed our military, we are building our army.” He went on to say, “EU membership is of vital interest for us. One cannot function without allies.” He then spoke about negotiations regarding Kosovo by saying, “It is not what we gain, it is about what we will lose.” Vucic accused western nations of being intransigent when it comes to finding a diplomatic solution to ease the...

USAF Aircraft Airborne Over Montana, Monitoring Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon

Today, the Pentagon confirmed to NBC News that it is currently monitoring a suspected Chinese spy balloon that has been overing over northern areas of the United States for the past few days. The balloon was last spotted over Montana, which is where you can see USAF aircraft airborne in response to it. Currently on FlightRadar24, three USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers are actively circling areas around Chester, which are likely supporting ISR aircraft that have continuously been monitoring the balloon. The US military has been hesitant about shooting it down over the risk it may pose to civilian areas below.