The Marine Corps has punished two aviators who flew their aircraft deliberately to draw a giant penis in the skies over California's Salton Sea.
"Two Marine Corps aviators were administratively disciplined following the completion of an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding an Oct. 23 irregular flight pattern that resulted in an obscene image," said Maj. Josef Patterson, a spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
Patterson did not reveal details of the disciplinary action taken against the Marines. "The aviators retained their wings and will continue service to their country as valued members of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing," he said.
The flight pattern was originally spotted about 120 miles outside San Diego by @AircraftSpots, which monitors military air movements on Twitter.
Somebody needs to have a word with the crew of US Navy T-34C 160937 SHUTR91 out of MCAS Miramar 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/WgrgkKzRln— Aircraft Spots (@AircraftSpots) October 23, 2018
Drawing phallic images seem to be a pattern in military aviation.
Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Goossen was fired as commander of the 69th Bomb Squadron on Nov. 27 because penis drawings were discovered on moving map software displayed on the nuclear-capable B-52's Combat Network Communication Technology.
During the 69th's deployment to Al Udeid Air Force Base, Qatar, between September 2017 and April 2018, penis drawings were repeatedly created by members of the unit and were captured as screengrabs for a compact disc montage that was played at the end of the deployment.
An investigation was launched after the CD was turned into Air Force officials.
The details of their punishment were not released, but the two were allowed to keep their aviator status.
The aviators were assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 130 and flew an EA-18G Growler aircraft to draw an image of male genitalia in the sky. Witnesses captured the image on cellphone cameras and posted it on social media.
-- Military.com's Gina Harkins, Oriana Pawlyk and Hope Hodge Seck contributed to this report.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org