Prosecutors have formally dropped the charges against SFC Trey Scott Atwater after he was found to be carrying C4 explosives on an aircraft back in December. Maybe the best part is that the explosives were found by TSA on the return flight after coming back from leave in Texas. Ah, the illusion of security. Thank god TSA is sneaking in some cheap rubs on grannies everywhere to help keep us safe.
When Atwater was on his way home TSA “found two blocks of C-4 explosives, weighing about 2 1/2 pounds, lodged between the padding in the lumbar part of a backpack he was carrying Dec. 31.” according to Military.com. I wonder if the reason why they were there was as a variation on the “soap dish” charge. During recce missions it is not unlikely for SOF units to pack a plastic soap dish full of C4 and prime it with some time fuse. If rucks have to be left behind in order to E&E, the charge can be initiated while the team beats feet into the woodline. Meanwhile, the soap dish charge explodes, destroying the ruck sack, and any equipment that might have been of value to the enemy.
At any rate, it isn’t uncommon for SOF soldiers traveling through the airport to get stopped when chemical sensors pick up trace amounts of plastic explosives in their bags left over from deployment. Usually we just explain the situation to security and are allowed to pass. Although Atwater screwed up, I’m glad they are dropping the charges against him. Throwing him a federal prison for 20+ years would have served no one and would be a miscarriage of justice. That said, there is a valuable lesson in this about conducting inspections of men, weapons, and equipment when re-deploying back to the States. Check your kit and than have a buddy re-check it for you!