Jerry Popovice History


Jerry Popovice

01-02-07 -  When I first got to CRD-11 in 1972 - along with about 25 MK II PBRs and
two MK Is - we had two ASBPs (don't recall the numbers), as well as CCB-18, along with 2 older LCM version of the ATC. Additionally we had two PCFs - a MK 1 and a MK-22 (828).

The MATC arrived in late 1973 or early 1974. Most of us didn't much like the MATC - too open - needed foul weather gear in a slight chop. They didn't dig in like a PBR would in a high speed turn - mostly just slid around.


PN1-Popovice SBU-11, 1974 EN1 Gaunce conducting agressor briefing Popovice onSBU-11 PBR 723 Popovice conducting agressor force briefing /PBRs 204 and 723 at NAS Alameda 1974
SBU-11 agressors 1974 QM2 Fuchseland SBU11 co-agressor 1974 SBU-11 US Customs Training 1976 SBU-11 Finger Pier Mare Island 1974  
SBU-11 PBRs on the Columbia River 9/1974 SBU_11 PBRs @ Lake Chelan, WA 9/1974 SBU-11 PBR 336 en-route to Lake Chelan, WA 1974 3 SBU-11 PBRs at Lake Chelan,WA 1974 FN Lopez and SK3 Balcazarw SBU-11 PBR 336, Lake Chelan, WA 1974
SBU-11 HQ Building Mare Island 1975 SBU-11 Awards presentation 1975 SBU-11 Commendation presentation    

Q:  When asked about wearing the black Berets:

A:  In answer to your questions regarding the berets:

Initially, in early 1973, only those individuals who actually served in-country, who were authorized to wear the Combatant Craft Crewman pin individuals with at least 6 months duty in a combat zone aboard a Riverine type craft), were permitted to wear the berets - but only around the compound or out on the boats (since Navy Uniform Regs did not recognize the beret as part of the uniform - NAVBASE Mare Island would not allow us to wear them around the base.)

In 1974, when BUPERS authorized the 9533, only those of us who received that code were permitted to wear the berets, and again, only around the compound or when we were on the boats. It was also at this time that the command developed the look-alike Combat Craft Crewman patches worn over the right breast pocket - red for Crewman, black for Boat Captain, and white for Patrol Officers.

Attached is a picture taken in January 1976 - the first Patrol Officer Course for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.The CRD-11 instructor personnel are: Lower left - BMC Gadsden, lower right - LCDR Callaway. 2nd row, left to right, BM2 Andrews, EN2 Kuhlman, PN1 Popovice, EN2 Morelock, ET2 Shindeldecker. To the extreme right, 2nd row, CDR Dunbar. You will notice, since it was an official U.S. Navy photograph, that we wore the utility cap and not a beret, even though we were in the compound area.

The students in the picture were U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel. There were two courses held in 1976 for the Customs and Border Patrol - the second one was in June of that year. We taught the same curriculum to these folks that we previously taught the Malaysians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Thais.

Early in 1976 we started the administrative process that would establish the criteria allowing the wearing of the Combatant Craft Crewman pin for all individuals who attained the 9533 SNEC. The request was later submitted to BUPERS and the Uniform Board for approval. I believe it was in1978 that BUPERS finally authorized the wearing of the Combatant Craft
Crewman pin for those who had earned the 9533 SNEC.

I was directly involved in both the admin process as well as the qualification requirements for both the SNEC and the Combatant Craft Crewman pin for non-combat personnel.

In one of your recent e-mails you mentioned about the "heavies" at SBU-11...thought you would like to see the picture of the ASPB that I've attached.

Hope that answers your question. Don't hesitate to ask if you need
additional information or clarification.

Take care.   - Jerry

My 3 1/2+ years that I spent at CRD-11 were some of the best years in my 20+ year Navy career.In 1977

I returned to CRD-11 to reenlist on board a PBR- this would be my last reenlistment before transferring to the Fleet

Reserve. My CO at the P-3 squadron, to which I was attached, allowed one of our pilots and crew to fly me to Travis AFB in one of our birds. From there CDR DUNBAR (the then COMCOSRIVDIV-11) arranged for transportation to Mare Island and the PBR that we used for the swearing in ceremony. I've attached a couple of pictures of that event. The officer administering the reenlistment oath was my Department Head - he was also the P-3 pilot.

Take care.  - Jerry

Jim -  As for your question about the Aggressors. We used one -the old 36 foot, wooden hulled boat. I believe the call sign was J-13. Most of the time we just worked from the shore or used small skiffs and ZODIACs to do our dirty deeds. Because the old junk was so slow (only had a 6-71 - single screw) we used it primarily as a diversion during exercises.

While I was there we had two locations for our aggressor camps - one right across the  slough from "Base Camp" (which was erected by NIOTC and quite comfortable - that one we
could access via POV - which we demolished in late 1973 or early 1974 because the land owner (State of California) wanted us out of there. The second one was established on
privately held land with two new metal pre-fab buildings up the slough from Base Camp towards Suisun City - on the same side of the slough as Base Camp (that way we could mess with the "good guys" without using boats).

There were times that we would insert our aggressor groups just off I-680 by truck and walk to Hunters Cut, the Base Camp or other areas where we could initiate ambushes as called for by the OP Orders.

As aggressors we lived a fairly good life. Since we were mostly in some sort of civilian clothes during the day we would be able to go into town for food, etc., or even back
to the base to take care of various issues and then come back at dusk and to "do our thing"...



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