NORAD is “aware of the unexplained contrail” off the southern California coast Monday evening, but “unable to provide specific details” as it works “to determine the exact nature of this event,” a command spokesman told the Daily Report Tuesday. He noted, “We can confirm that there is no threat to our nation, and from all indications, this was not a launch by a foreign military.” Residents of Los Angeles witnessed what appeared to be a ballistic missile launch Monday, with video footage captured from a news helicopter appearing to show an object lift off, reorient itself on a ballistic trajectory, and quickly ascend, leaving a contrail. This event reportedly originated from roughly 35 off the Los Angeles coast to the north of Santa Catalina Island. There were no known scheduled missile launches in the area. (CBS News report; see also Fox News report.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.