The US Air Force might get a lot of hazing from other branches for having the best standard of living, but they perform some stunts the other branches either can’t or don’t pull. One of their most widely known is their use of trails and flight patterns to leave marks along the sky in distinct patterns. These patterns can form symbols, messages, or other imagery for those on the ground below.
Russian forces in Syria got a taste of USAF skywriting on November 1st while pilots were operating near Tartus, Syria. Looking to the sky and on the flight radar, they would have gotten a big, meaty, and American set of men’s genitalia. Often called a “sky penis” or a “cloud c*ck”, this is a great way to get your message across to people on the ground and by teabagging an entire area at once.
While unknown if they had just departed nearby Crete, Greece, if they were on a refueling mission or other tactical work, they did a magnificent job. Making this feat even more amazing was the fact that this was done with a KC-135 Stratotanker. This massive airborne gas station has the maneuverability of a baby deer on ice; simply put it takes forever to turn. It’s built to be safe and to haul a lot of weight, not maneuver on a dime.
The Kyiv Post, a Ukrainian newspaper took notice of the maneuver and tweeted “Christmas came early: A US jet draws ‘sky penis’ near a Russian base in Syria. Merry-merry!” US jets patrolling the Mediterranean had previously encountered Russian planes as tensions were ratcheted up before the Russians invaded Ukraine. Upon the invasion, these missions for the Russians slowed down, thus making the clouds a lot more open for this sky art.
Drawings like this are nothing new. From cavemen etching them in soot to Roman soldiers drawing them on shields, or American soldiers writing them on bombs and mortars. Finding little bits of humor in the most stressful or mundane of situations is one of the best ways to ensure you come through it unscathed and ready for whatever life throws your way. This art is a cornerstone in that stress relief.
For those seeing it below, this is one of the ultimate forms of humiliation. Having it on a bomb where nobody knows it’s there besides the people dropping it is one thing but seeing it overhead for all to bask in its glory is humiliation on a whole new level. The American military leads the way in this kind of humor, even if it makes the higher brass angry about its existence. Then again, the high brass either doesn’t know or has forgotten the true stress of facing the enemy in a much closer manner.
Given the Russian military’s recent provocations near Alaska, this kind of revenge is a small dish, but it serves to further establish US dominance over Russia before a conflict directly between the countries can occur. These kinds of mind games now can pay off in a big way in the future.
Considering their ground forces have been absolutely ran through and humiliated by the Ukrainian military, their civilians, and others who have come to join the fight, the mushroom stamp of approval over their Syrian base is nothing short of appropriate. It serves as comedic relief for the US troops, and most importantly to the Russians as a sign that no matter what they try, they just don’t measure up.