Baby Powder Caper


SBC Robin McKinney USNR Ret
Special Boat Unit-12 humor:


The Great Baby Powder Capper 1995

One summer some of us found ourselves down at SBU-26 “filling-in” while SBU-26 dets  were forward deployed down South. Mr. Kessel, our XO, and Mr. Maxim, our Ops Boss, made the trip with us. One morning while we were doing some work on one of 26’s PBL’s (a Boston Whaler), Mr. Kessel and Mr. Maxim, stopped by to “check up” on us before going over to the SBU-26 headquarters building for a meeting. They actually left their rental car parked next to where we were working…..what were they thinking? Someone, Brian, just happened to have a bottle of baby powder with him. Strangely most of it found its way into the AC ducting of their rental car. And being the conscientious sailors we were, the AC was turned all the way up. We then “hide” and awaited their return. When they returned and Mr. Kessel started the car, it looked like the biggest snow storm you have ever seen, only inside the car. They both exited the vehicle, covered head to toe with baby powder. A true Kodak moment. As I remember the XO was laughing, Ops Boss was mad, very, very mad. That of course led to pay back later that night, involving fire crackers, open 5th floor window of our hotel  and armed Panamanian security guards……….got a little bit exciting.

Also seem to remember something about a tennis court on top of the hotel, none of us being very good at tennis, and having to buy more tennis balls every day……..

Also remember a certain GMG1 signing for a lot of equipment and supplies even though he has never been to Panama…….Surprised they didn’t come looking for him

The   Hyd. Line Mystery and CDR Livid, F’n Livid 1998 

We were doing our summer vacation over on the Rock (SCI)  and  were participating  a Exercise and be working against MIUW, Coast Guard Port Security Unit,  Anglico  and some Air Force Unit. There was SBU-12 Reserve Ribs. and  Reserve SEAL Team 1,3,5 working as aggressors against them. MCPO Jimmy and I had flown over in the morning as advance party to coordinate with SEALs and set up SDV building for our Rib det and the Guys were bringing the boats over on their hulls from Long Beach. Very bad weather that night and made for a long rough trip.

The Exercise had started that evening, I think about 2000, so all the port security players were on “full” alert. We were camped out in the SDV building waiting for the boats which had been delayed by the weather. Jimmy and I didn’t know how delayed they would be and were going to wait up all night if need be until they arrived. We decided to check out the new concrete pier to make sure there was a place to tie up the boats The construction wasn’t quite finished and there was lots of rebar sticking out all over. While strolling down the pier and looking over the side, we heard a noise behind us. Four jocked up, ready to play Coasties were following us looking over the sides of the pier also. Asked what they were doing, was told they were looking for “bad guys”. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. So for the rest of the night, every 45mins. Jimmy and I strolled down the pier pretending to be looking for, looking at and/or talking to the guys that were really somewhere between Long beach and the Rock. It was great. Also found out there was a place to tie up our boats right next to the four Coast Guard security boats. Now this leads to the following day.

The Boats and Crews finally arrived in the morning bone tired. They were able to get about one hour of sleep before the mission brief. Guys woke up tired and cranky, go figure. So, when in the middle of our brief, a Coastie CDR shows up. Stomps up the stairs, sits at the head of the table and proceeds to do his best Kruschev imitation shouting” I’m livid, f,n livid”. He was met with laughter. This didn’t do much to cement Coast Guard/Navy relations. Turns out all of the fuel lines on his CG whalers were cut the previous night by someone and he was accusing us. Did not go over very well, Jimmy and I were the only ones there on the island and we were bird dogged by the Coasties every time we got near the pier. At first CDR said there was no one  on watch with the  Coasty boats, he was politely corrected. The CDR and some LT, with most of his fingers missing, then spent the rest of the exercise pestering us about who wrecked their boats. “Come on you can tell us; was it ST6, secret agents, aliens, trained dolphins, the girl scouts, who? come on tell us!!!” …..didn’t realize they had been given a cheap lesson on security. What they were doing wasn’t… didn’t work. When our part of the war game started that night they got their asses handed to them in addition to a whole lot of blue on blue. Afterwards the LT with the fingers kept asking Bobby for some of those things that go bang. Don’t think he got any!!!!!!!!

When they packed and left their vehicles and conex boxes were now sporting the Rainbow Coalition stickers on them.

Also remember a dry erase board, many names and a chow list that I was very glad to be somewhere else when “soup nazi lady” discovered.