A senior U.S. Air Force general said the U.S. military had an "awareness gap" in failing to detect past Chinese spy balloons floating over the United States.
The general responsible for bringing down the latest detected ballon said on Monday that the United States military had not detected past spy balloons before the latest one detected on Jan. 28.
Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck oversees the American air space and called the failure a "domain awareness gap."
"I will tell you that we did not detect those threats," VanHerck said. "That's a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out," he said.
The general said the U.S. "took maximum precaution to prevent" the balloon from gathering intelligence while it was floating across the country, but did not provide further details.
"We did not assess that it presented a significant collection hazard beyond what already exists in actionable technical means from the Chinese," he said.