Six Airmen in a tub

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Early Sunday morning (some time between midnight and 3 a.m.) I got a call from the command post. I often have a hard time reconstructing the specifics of these late night and early morning calls, but in this particular case the image was indelibly printed in my cranium. Apparently we had six Airmen running through the ballpark sprinklers in their underpants. Five were alcohol impaired and I guess the last was their designated streaker.

Break, break ... here's a true story right from the depths of the famous Darwin accounts. Ronnie and Steve were bored and scrounging around for something to do.

They noticed that Steve's father had thrown out his old hot-tub to make room for the new one, and they decided to sail it across a nearby canal. The canal is a major shipping channel with a horrendous undertow and it was at least 200 hundred yards across.

Ronnie and Steve put the hot tub in the canal and were pleased to see it float. So they climbed in and managed to paddle a quarter of the way across the canal, but by this time quite a bit of water had splashed in. They decided they needed to remove this water by sloshing around with their feet. This is where it gets interesting, our two rather inebriated heroes then reasoned since the water was coming over the sides that pulling out the drain plug would make the water go out the hole as it was designed to. So they pulled out the plug. Luckily it was a slow day in the shipping channel and the Coast Guard rescued them within an hour, freezing cold, feeling stupid and unhurt.

Luckily security forces rescued our six nearly-naked Airmen before they got hurt.

Some may remark there is nothing wrong with running through sprinklers and certainly on the surface I would agree. Okay, let me help you out a little more here ... we are guests on a Turkish base ... we live among a predominantly Muslum culture...we have families with children ... and we have new people arriving almost every day ... welcome to the "Lik" where we run around in our underpants through sprinklers. Now I know, this was only six Airmen and is certainly not representative of the rest of our team most of whom were probably sleeping when this happened. But the fact of it is we only get one opportunity to make a first impression.

Think back to when you first arrived at Incirlik ... did you have a good sponsor, were we ready for your arrival, were your quarters ready, did we feed you, did we show you the ins and outs of in-processing, and were we professional? Or did we present the image of six Airmen in a tub.

We have a serious mission here at Incirlik with no room for error. The next time someone gets the urge to run around and be stupid, go rent them the movie 'Animal House' because that's the closest Incirlik will ever be to Faber College!