But this entire online advertising effort is relatively new compared to what special demonstration teams like the Thunderbirds have been doing for decades now: take the tale of military pilots and tell it to onlookers below, at various air shows, in a manner that is both inspiring and frightening.
For those who don’t have the opportunity to see the Thunderbirds in action, there’s always that whole camera thing to fall back on. The team constantly releases images of its exploits, and the USAF chooses the most spectacular to include in its weekly releases.
The photo we have here is one of the most recently unleashed one, but was snapped at the beginning of May, at a time when the team was flying over Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the local air show.
It’s not an image snapped from above, or level with the aerobatic F-16s the Thunderbirds are fielding, but from inside the cockpit of a plane flown by one of the team’s pilots. It shows three fighters, the one from which the photo was taken and two others to its right, as they bank over the water, leaving the shore behind.
In some respects, this image is quite similar to the one snapped by a Romanian F-16 pilot during an air policing mission close to the Ukrainian border, a country now engulfed in war because of Russia.
The two pics only go to show that pilots elsewhere are quickly picking up on USAF’s efforts to become more visible, and that can only mean more extraordinary photos are just around the corner.