An Air and Space Museum Accidentally Marked July 4th With Russian Aircraft

Bullet Points

On July 4th, a photograph of jets flying in formation appeared on the social media accounts of the San Diego Air and Space museum in honor of Independence Day. But here’s the thing: the aircraft featured in the photo don’t belong to the United States military. In fact, it’s a picture of the Russian SU-25 Frogfoot demonstration team. And while the red, white, and blue smoke coming off the jets screams ‘Merica, that also happens to be the color scheme for the Russian Federation. Here’s a quick breakdown of this hilariously ill-timed Russia gaffe:

The Twitter posting in question that shows SU-25 aircraft. Note the Russia origin of the aircraft.

  • The photo appeared on the museum’s social media channels at TIME on July 4th — and despite hundreds of comments on Facebook and Twitter, it remained up until noon on Thursday, July 5th.
  • Russian naval history publishing house ‘Gangut’ noted in a comment on the Facebook post that the photo in question was originally taken at the ‘Day of the Russian Navy’ parade in St. Petersburg last year, which occurs on the last Sunday in July.
  • Even worse, Su-25 Grach (NATO designation: Frogfoot) aircraft featured in the photo have seen extensive action in Syria and Ukraine, both major flashpoints for the U.S and Russia. Geared for close air support it is considered to be the Russian version of the beloved A-10 Warthog.

The Facebook posting, note that Russia is the country of origin for the aircraft in the photo.

It’s really easy to make a mistake when it comes to social media, especially when you’re not intimately familiar with the complexities of military aircraft. But when in doubt, flag down one of the many aircraft nerds who undoubtedly are running around the halls of the San Diego Air and Space Museum (seriously?) and maybe ask them to double-check the nationality of the aircraft you are about to post.

We aren’t Putin you on the hot seat, but maybe next time Stalin before you post could be the best way to go.

Twitter replies to the post, regarding the Russia origin of the aircraft.

A military funeral at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in 2014. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec/U.S. Army

A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

Read More
DoD photo

A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.

"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."

Read More

The suspect in the death of 21-year-old U.S. Marine Cpl. Tyler Wallingford, who was fatally shot in the barracks of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort more than nine months ago, was found guilty in military court of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month and sentenced to more than five years.

Read More
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dylan McKay

A U.S. Navy aircrew has been rescued after their MH-60S helicopter went down into the Philippine Sea on Saturday.

Read More
Photo: Fort Jackson Public Affairs

A 19-year-old Army private who died during basic training earlier this month was posthumously promoted to private first class, just before friends and family gathered for a memorial service to honor his life on Jan. 16.

Read More