The balloon was an estimate 60 meters tall and was carrying a long sensor package underneath.
Strengthened counter-espionage measures ordered by President Biden helped identify the balloon and found multiple previous balloons went undetected.
Wellingtonian Sacha Piper has been described as an "outstanding cadet".
Anne-Marie Brady says a "similar" device has previously also been demonstrated and tested in New Zealand.
China criticised the US for "an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice."
The balloon was downed by Air Force fighter aircraft, according to two officials.
The cancellation came despite China’s claim that the balloon was a weather research “airship” that had blown off course.
The Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to risks of harm for people on the ground.
US officials confirmed the bombs will have double the range of any other supplied weapon.
The two aircraft were a part of the RNZAF's fleet of Orions and have been in service for nearly 60 years.
Germany had said their Leopard 2 A6 tank would not be sent unless the US put its M1 Abrams on the table, causing a weeks-long standoff.
A decision to send more than 30 tanks could be announced as soon as tomorrow, though it could take months for the tanks to be delivered.
The crew of an RNZAF P3K2 Orion were on their aircraft's final search and rescue mission when they spotted the two missing men floating in their dinghy.
RSA national president Sir Wayne Shelford says the organisation must prove its continued relevance to stay afloat.
The package include 50 Bradley armoured vehicles, a key weapon for the ground war that critics have said the US has been slow to provide.
President Joe Biden signed the US$858 billion (NZ$1.36 trillion) defence bill into law in Washington on Friday.
The soldiers' whānau were presented with medals recognising their service and sacrifice at Whirinaki Whare Taonga today.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test of a "high-thrust solid-fuel motor" for a new, more powerful nuclear weapon.
The first of four new Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft have arrived in the country.
The Government announced the purchase of four new Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft in 2018, with RNZAF set to use them from early 2023.