I reported to SBU-12 in the fall of 82. I had been hounding my detailer for years to get orders to a boat unit. As an RM, there were limited billets available so it was a real thrill to finally get the orders.
My first job was to become the alternate CMS custodian for SBR-1. At the time the Squadron issued all the CMS to SBU’s 12 & 13. The Squadron had an RM1 who was the Primary custodian and they decided since SBU-12 now had an RM1, me, I could be his alternate. That was fine but I sort of let it be known to any khaki that would listen I came here to operate not administrate. The next 7 years in SPECWAR, (4 at SBU-12, 3 at NSWG-1 Mobile Communications Team) would be the most rewarding of my 23-year career.
I started out on the PB’s and Seafox, earning OIC quals on both craft. I went to SERE school, Safe Ship Handling, the sailing course Mal Flisk writes about (I was in it) etc…. all the required courses for SOC and earned my 9533 NEC. When the Small Craft Pin was reauthorized, I was in the first group of operators at SBU-12 to receive my pin.
While at SBU-12 I deployed to Subic SBD where I had numerous adventures which I will write about individually. Some highlights include taking a PB and 2 SWCLS to ROK for TEAM SPIRIT 84. I was on the ill fated Malaysia trip Rory Towne wrote about. (there is a lot more to that story!) Additionally, we had some pretty exciting operations (SOC and Boat) in and around the Subic Bay area.
After the deployment, I spent a year as the Command training PO. One of my first things was to help write and teach the first formal SWCL (Seafox) courses. QM2 Mironchek(sp) and I, using the operators and maintainers books developed the COI. QM2 even got hold of a video camera and we made training movies. Before the SWCL’s,deployed for each ARG we would give a presentation to the SEAL ARG PLT OIC, AOIC and CPO’s concerning the SWCL’s capabilities etc.., but it was a one day classroom and quick familiarization ride. This new course was 1week of classroom and practical (underway) and was for the boat operators. We even reserved a classroom at the Amphib Training Center for the course. BM1 Brown from SBU-20 came out to attend it so they could maybe do there own COI. The SPECWARCEN’s boat support was getting rid of there LCPL’s and getting the SWCL so, we even taught the course to them. I was also still operating PB’s and serving as an evaluator on FBP for the Dets in pre-deployment training. Then, I volunteered for another Det.
I never got to make that deployment because ¾ of the way through the training cycle, darn the luck, I made Chief. There were already 2 Chiefs (A QMCS active SBU-12 and a BMC reserve) and the CO felt the Det would be top heavy. However, since I had the most experience (The QMCS was an LCU/ASDV Craftmaster the BMC a Submariner??) and was in the middle of training the crews. I would stay with the Det through their FBP.
I was made the Training Chief/PBOIC PB 737, (I have the teak plaque from above the wheel-house hatch) where I planned several FBP’s for deploying Dets and continued to train and operate throughout the SOCAL oparea until I transferred to NSWG-1 MCT.
These were great years, spent with great men, doing amazing things, I have lots of great memories to share and this is the right place to share them.
RMC(SW/CC) Ret. Mike Price