Source AP ©

Soldiers to remove silhouettes of models from fighter planes

The images of glamour models painted on the nose cones of two fighter jets were to be removed because they were deemed offensive.

The two Harrier Jets, which had been stationed in Afghanistan to provide ground attack support to NATO operations in the country, featured the silhouettes of British pinups Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh, who had visited troops stationed there last year.

But after one of the planes was spotted by Royal Air Force (RAF) officials at a base in Britain, the silhouettes were ordered to be removed, the RAF spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with force policy.

"We have women that fly the planes, women that fix the planes and it's just not appropriate," he told The Associated Press.

He said it was not possible to say if the silhouette images depicted naked or clothed women, but said the images had been based on the popular British models.

Both pinups had been fully clothed and respectful of local customs during a visit to Afghanistan, he said. The trip was designed as a morale booster for British troops who continue to fight a tough insurgency in the south of the country.

The official did not say if those responsible for the art were disciplined or exactly when the two planes were discovered.

"The Royal Air Force values and recognizes the contribution of service personnel regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or social background," he said.

"To this end, the RAF promotes working in an environment that is free from harassment and where personnel are respected both for the contribution they can bring to the team and the value and potential they offer as individuals."

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