On Wednesday, Trump announced that in addition to the US deploying up to 2,000 troops to Poland (a 1,000-servicemember increase from previous reports), Warsaw had also inked a deal to purchase "32 or 35 brand new F-35s at the highest level” from Washington.
Celebrating Poland’s pricey purchase amid the country’s military modernization efforts, The White House organized a special showing of two F-35 fighter jets in action.
"At 1:55 to 2:00, we are going to have two super F-35s ... put on a very small show for us, and we are doing that because Poland has [ordered] 32 or 35 brand new F-35s at the highest level," Trump told reporters during his Wednesday afternoon meeting with his Polish counterpart.
Despite his claim, only one Marine Corps F-35 fighter showed up.
Also, Trump’s brief advisory did not really reach everyone in the DC area. As a result, the F-35B Lightning II (whose 92 decibel flyover is approximately four times the strength of lawnmower) took many uninformed individuals in the nation’s capital by surprise.
WTH was that noise just now in downtown DC?!?!😳 It sounded like a jet flying RIGHT over our 13-story building on K Street. @capitalweather, did you hear it?— Patti Lynn Miller (@anglophilehoo) June 12, 2019
Seriously loud aircraft just flew over the building in DC (Chinatown) - seemed very low and was extremely fast and loud. Anyone else hear this?— Jen Martin🐶 (@iheartrocknroll) June 12, 2019
Anyone just hear something super loud over downtown DC?— Mike Sager (@msager) June 12, 2019
Did I just hear a plane over DC or am I crazy— HokiESQ (@HokiESQ) June 12, 2019
Many netizens in the DC area were able to capture the spectacle on their smartphones.
There it is...the F-35 fighter jet coming up over the West Wing, heading north over Washington DC. Very loud and low pic.twitter.com/pnJlHZdqCK— Karen Travers (@karentravers) June 12, 2019
From the rooftop of the Kennedy Center... pic.twitter.com/VICqSkSELu— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) June 12, 2019
The sound of fighter jets over the White House was scary for a minute, until someone at the office noted it was a prescheduled Trump stunt. I should read the news more regularly... #F35pic.twitter.com/jjta4sk0xT— Omar Baddar (@OmarBaddar) June 12, 2019
Some others who quickly learned or were previously informed about the flyover either voiced their disagreement with commander-in-chief’s military flex or used it as time to troll Trump, who had previously (falsely) claimed “you literally can't see” the fighter jet.
The airspace over the nation's capital is now reserved for sales demonstrations by defense contractors. Sounds about right. https://t.co/NeTsJKfPaQ— Denis Dison (@DenisDison) June 12, 2019
That sound you hear in DC is $1 trillion+ that could go toward helping those in need https://t.co/0ysxJF7niF— jordan (@JordanUhl) June 12, 2019
Good thing it wasn't raining or those $150 million F-35s wouldn't have been able to show off for #DudaTrump— Morgan Artyukhina (@LavenderNRed) June 12, 2019
You might live in DC when you hear (but can’t see) a jet flyover the middle of the District and immediately check all your social media outlets to see what is happening. No worries. Just the dude down the street having the “greatest fighter jet” visit today. 😳— Tricia Fechter Gates (@tfec) June 12, 2019