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Tuesday, January 1, 2019
US military tweets, deletes New Year's Eve message about dropping bombs
By Zachary Cohen and Barbara Starr,
Washington (CNN)US Strategic Command, the unified military force that controls the launch of nuclear weapons, tweeted an unusual New Year's Eve message on Monday featuring B-2 bombers dropping 30,000-pound conventional weapons at a test range.
"#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball...if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger," the tweet from US Strategic Command's official account said.
The post, later deleted, included a sizzle reel initially released earlier this year, showing a B-2 bomber dropping "a pair of conventional Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOP) at a test range," the Pentagon said.
TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball...if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger.
Watch to the end! @AFGlobalStrike @Whiteman_AFB #Deterrence #Assurance #CombatReadyForce #PeaceIsOurProfession... pic.twitter.com/Aw6vzzTONg— US Strategic Command (@US_Stratcom) December 31, 2018
While the bombs depicted in the video -- known as "bunker busters" -- are conventional, not nuclear, the tweet seems to serve as a reminder to the rest of the world that the US military maintains the largest and most capable weapons in the world.
A Strategic Command spokesperson, Navy Capt. Brook Dewalt, told CNN that the post is "part of our recap of command priorities" and is all about reassuring the American people that the US military is ready at all times, even on New Year's Eve.
Later Monday, Strategic Command tweeted: "Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies."
"I think it's very tacky," Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN. "We don't need to be acting this way."