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The call sign of the commander of the Navy squadron responsible for the infamous sky penis is literally Navy Cmdr. Brendan “Tess” Stickles.
A Navy pilot from Electronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130) flew his E/A-18G Growler in a very specific pattern last Thursday over Okanogan County, Wash., which left an air trail in the shape of a penis.
What’s been missing from the story so far is that the commander of the squadron responsible for this act has the call sign of “Tess.”
The Navy’s official site offered a wink and nod to the obvious joke in a press release last year about Stickles taking over command of VAQ-130.
“Cmdr. Brendan “Tess” Stickles relieved Cmdr. Eric “Skid” Sinibaldi as commanding officer in a ceremony held in the squadron’s ready room,” the Navy said on Dec. 6, 2016.
It’s unclear at this time whether Navy Cmdr. Stickles call sign in any way motivated one of the pilots from VAQ-130 to create the sky penis.
While the general public expressed wonder and amazement at the penis staring down at them from the clear blue sky last Thursday, Navy brass quickly issued a stern condemnation of the act.
“Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in Naval aviation today,” Navy Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said in a statement Friday. For Shoemaker, the Navy is committed to “foster[ing] an environment of dignity and respect.”
“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,” Shoemaker added.
Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Leslie Hubbell told CNN that the aircrew had been grounded following the sky penis incident.
The Navy has launched a full investigation into the sky penis. It’s possible that an investigation could lead to a designation of sexual harassment, in which case service members involved may suffer from formal counseling, administrative punishment or even a court-martial.
The Navy did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
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