The Department of Defense had to apologize after a tweet suggested the US military was going to bomb millennials into oblivion if they tried to raid Area 51

A U.S. Air Force 509th Bomb Wing B-2 Spirit approaches a 351st Aerial Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during the Bomber Task Force training exercise over England, Aug. 29, 2019.

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A U.S. Air Force 509th Bomb Wing B-2 Spirit approaches a 351st Aerial Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during the Bomber Task Force training exercise over England, Aug. 29, 2019.
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U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan

  • The Department of Defense apologized Saturday after an internal public affairs division posted a tweet the day before suggesting that the US military was going to bomb millennials who attempted to raid Area 51.
  • “The last thing #Millennials will see if they attempt the #area51 raid today,” the tweet, which was posted by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDSHub) and accompanied by the image of a B-2 Spirit bomber, read.
  • The tweet was a response to the “Storm Area 51” event, a movement that was ultimately a non-event.
  • In its apology, DVIDSHub wrote that the tweet in “NO WAY supports the stance of the Department of Defense.”
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The Department of Defense was forced to issue an apology Saturday after a tweet was sent out the day before suggesting the military was going to bomb millenials attempting to raid Area 51 into oblivion with America’s top bomber.

The offending tweet was posted on Friday by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDSHub), a DoD media service, in response to the “Storm Area 51” event, which was held the day the tweet was posted.

“The last thing #Millennials will see if they attempt the #area51 raid today,” the tweet read. The accompanying image was a B-2 Spirit bomber, a highly-capable stealth aircraft built to slip past enemy defenses and devastate targets with nuclear and conventional munitions.

Screenshot of the now-deleted tweet from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

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Screenshot of the now-deleted tweet from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
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Screenshot

The tweet received some immediate backlash online. “The military should not be threatening to kill citizens, not even misguided ones,” Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, tweeted Friday.

Read more: 4 of the US military’s worst Twitter screwups

On Saturday, DVIDSHub deleted the troubling tweet and issued an apology. “Last night a DVIDSHUB employee posted a tweet that in NO WAY supports the stance of the Department of Defense,” the military media division wrote. “It was inappropriate and we apologize for this mistake.”

The “Storm Area 51” movement evolved from a Facebook post that went viral. Hundreds of thousands of people signed up for the “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All” event, which jokingly called for people to overrun the remote Nevada air force base to “see them aliens.”

The event was ultimately canceled by the organizers due to safety concerns, although some people did show up and there were a handful of arrests.

The Air Force was taking the potential threat seriously though. “Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected,” Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said a few days prior to the event. “People deserve to have our nation’s secrets protected.”

Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan added that the service was coordinating its efforts with local law enforcement. “There’s a lot of media attention, so they’re expecting some folks to show up there. We’re prepared, and we’ve provided them additional security personnel, as well as additional barricades.”