Two Whidbey aviators involved in a Nov. 15 skywriting incident were disciplined by the Navy’s “Air Boss,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The aviators from the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron 130 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island made international news — and became the source of more than a few bad puns — when they drew a penis in the sky during training over Okanogan in Eastern Washington. Photos of the air graffiti spread quickly through social media.
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker handed an administrative punishment to the two-person crew following a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board hearing.
A separate investigation into the incident by the NAS Whidbey Island squadron’s carrier air wing is still ongoing, meaning additional discipline is possible, Cmdr. Ron Flanders, spokesman for Naval Air Forces, told the Washington Examiner.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Shoemaker found that the aviators’ actions were “impulsive and immature” but both were “forthright and remorseful.” Navy authorities recommended that the Navy retain them as aviators but place them on probationary status.
Shoemaker agreed, the newspaper reported.
Shoemaker also ordered the aviators to address fellow crews at NAS Whidbey in a series of “Change the Culture” briefings.
Shoemaker released a statement in which he said “sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature” have no place in Naval aviation.
“This event clearly stands in stark contrast to the way our aviators and sailors are performing with utmost professionalism, discipline and excellence from our carrier flight decks and expeditionary airfields around the world today,” the statement says.