The sheriff’s department of Polk County, Florida, posted a tweet Monday unveiling its contingency plan for dealing with the recently downed Chinese spy balloon had crossed into Sunshine State airspace.
“We had a plan, y’all,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd tweeted. The tweet included a photo of an alligator sporting a “Sheriff G8R” vest and lifted by several balloons onto a collision course with the Chinese aircraft. Judd also included the hashtag “#MaybeNextTime,” suggesting that, although Sheriff G8R didn’t get a bite of balloon this time, he was prepared to respond to future incidents.
A second spy balloon was spotted in South America on Friday, possibly giving Polk County the opportunity to unleash its plan.
— Polk County Sheriff 🚔 Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff) February 6, 2023
The Chinese surveillance balloon drew national security concerns after it was spotted on Feb. 2 flying over Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base, where U.S. Minuteman III nuclear missiles are stored. Despite Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder’s statement Friday that the balloon would likely remain in the U.S. for “a few more days,” the United States shot the balloon down the following day. (RELATED: 86 Democrats Vote Against ‘Denouncing The Horrors Of Socialism’)
Prior to the United States military action, several figures, including former President Donald Trump and Republican Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, blasted the Biden administration for its inaction as a foreign intelligence-gathering aircraft hovered above U.S. soil.
The Pentagon reportedly left Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte uninformed about the balloon until it has already traveled hundreds of miles into his state, he told Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson on Friday. Worried about the Chinese surveilling over their homes, several Montanans reportedly asked Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines if they could “take a shot at it.”