WHIDBEY CREW IN TROUBLE AFTER AIRCRAFT PRANK
On November 16, 2017, residents in Okanogan, Washington, looked up to see a giant phallus sketched in the blue autumn sky. It was left there by the Navy crew of the EA-18G Growler, based at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and Navy superiors are not impressed.
According to a statement released by the Navy the next day, the aircrew has been grounded and is under investigation. The Navy also apologized for the “irresponsible and immature act,” especially to those who were offended by the phallus drawing.
Only one aircraft was involved in the sketch, and the names of two of the crew members responsible have not been released. The shape was drawn by a condensed-air trail, and many residents of Okanogan took photos and posted them on social media, where they were seen nationwide.
This is not the first time Navy pilots have been responsible for similar drawings. In 2014, a Navy investigation of the Blue Angels found blue-and-gold genitalia painted on the roof of a trailer at a winter training facility in California. It was so large that it could be seen on satellite imagery on Google Maps.
However, while this may seem like nothing more than a simple prank, others view it as potential sexual harassment. The incident happened at a time of heightened awareness about the wide-ranging problems of sexual harassment and sexual assault within the ranks.
It is unclear what actions will be taken against the Navy crew responsible for the drawing; however, Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, commander of Naval air forces was quoted as saying, “Naval aviation continually strives to foster an environment of dignity in respect. Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in Naval aviation today.”
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