According to a report originally published in the San Diego Tribune, a punishment has been handed down to the two pilots involved in drawing a massive penis in the sky above Washington state on Nov. 15th.
The incident, which became an over-night viral sensation, saw the pilot, as well as a back seat aviator, use contrails produced by their two-seater EA-18G Growler to sketch a giant phallus against the cloudless blue backdrop of Wednesday morning sky.
The pilot and co-pilot, who were not identified by the Navy, have been allowed to maintain their flight status thanks to the recommendation of a number of senior Navy leaders, but have been placed on a six-month probationary period, in which any subsequent transgression will cost them their wings.
“When they came down, the aviators were apologetic,” said Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders. “The aviators admitted that they had done it after it occurred. When they appeared before the (Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board) they were contrite. They realized that this was an embarrassment to Naval Aviation and the entire Navy. This sort of conduct is contrary to the core values of the Navy.”
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, who passed down judgement on the aviators, also mandated that they provide the personnel at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (their duty station) a series of presentations aimed at “changing the culture,” particularly in regard to the “ramifications and the embarrassment” their actions may have caused, as well as any potentially strategic ramification of their actions.
Once the unnamed pilot executes orders to his next duty station, where he’s slated to serve as an instructor, he will give similar presentations to students and staff at the training squadron at Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi, according to statements given to the San Diego Tribune.
Although punishment has been passed down, the two aviators are not out of the water yet. Each of them is still subject to individual inquiries out of their Virginia-based Carrier Air Wing 3. These investigations will primarily be used to produce what is effectively an after-action report aimed at preventing such incidents in the future, but could potentially result in levying new charges against the pair, if sufficient evidence of criminal violations surface. Of course, the incident did draw quite a bit of attention, but it seems unlikely that any such findings will surface from the seemingly cheeky, if unprofessional, act.
Currently, neither of the aviators have been arrested or charged with any crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Images courtesy of Twitter