Guardsmen train for upcoming law and order mission
June 11, 2013
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (June 11, 2013) -- More than 40 Kentucky Army National Guardsmen conducted mission specific training under the guidance and direction of fellow military police trainer/mentors assigned to 1-307th Infantry Battalion, 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East.
The Soldiers, from the 1103rd Military Police Company, are training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. for an upcoming law and order mission they will be performing in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
The two-week law and order field training designed and facilitated by 1-307th trainer/mentors, focused on a variety of force protection measures necessary to ensure the safety and security of a deployed military community.
"We've been getting more specific garrison law and order operations training on the military police side," said Staff Sgt. Charles Bailey, 1103rd Military Police Detachment from Stanford, Ky. "We've been working here with Soldiers from First Army's law and order section and they've been giving us some more direct training on how to respond to domestics, to crisis scenes and to any number of situations we may face overseas."
The Military Police, or MP, Corps plays an important role in combat operations, providing escort for high visibility military assets and visitors, training and protection for local national security forces and assisting in the arrest of enemy combatants. Supporting commanders beyond the successful resolution of battle involves the law and order mission. The MP law and order mission focuses on suppressing the chance for criminal behavior supporting commanders by ensuring a lawful and orderly environment units need to maintain discipline and combat readiness.
"Many of us deployed as combat MPs and we never really got to experience being police," said Bailey. "I'm really anxious to see how it is as a police officer and not a combat MP."
Law and order training includes a range of law enforcement operations, conducting investigations and all the paperwork that goes along with it. During week one, under the watchful eyes of 1-307th trainer/mentors, the Kentucky National Guard Soldiers participated in practical exercises including controlling access in various situations, conducting vehicle searches, apprehending suspects, and protecting crime scenes. This differs from a combat military police mission or police mentorship training missions where the Soldiers provide mainly host-nation support. Protecting service members and assisting commanders is a key component of the law and order mission.
"It's working with the command, empowering the unit leadership to get involved with the training, because we're not here to be drill sergeants; we're not here to force training down their throats," explained Staff Sgt. David Engelhardt, 1-307th trainer/mentor and military policeman. "We're here to facilitate what they need."
Engelhardt went on to say as long as training standards are being met, they can incorporate a variety of scenarios tailored specifically to the training unit.
"We have standards that we have to stick to, but there's a million ways to make it happen," explained Engelhardt. "If we can do a scenario that meets the standards of training and incorporates techniques they need work on, we accomplish our mission and it gets them more invested in the training because they get more value out of it."
"Having the garrison law and order operations training has really helped refresh our memory," said Bailey. Bailey added he believes this law and order training has been the best so far.
"Even as an MP, I normally train on basic soldier skills that anybody can embrace. But being able to do specialty training, it's been exciting for our team to come up with different training scenarios and try to make it as interesting as possible," added Engelhardt.
The mobilized MPs also trained on responding to different threats, including bombs, domestic situations, and building alarms. The trainees instituted traffic control measures, practiced filing reports, and demonstrated techniques in responding to a hostage situation.
The 1-307th trainer/mentors worked hard to incorporate insider threat scenario-based training as well.
"We give them in-depth practical exercises, involving more role players to give it more realism," said Engelhardt.
Additionally, the trainers and trainees plan to team up with Joint Base Security Forces to conduct ride-alongs during week two.
"We're going to be riding with the Air Force Security Forces here to help get our skill set changed over," said Bailey referring to the law and order mission as opposed to a combat MP mission. "We were all taught in school how to be garrison MPs, but we never had much practice with those skills. It's nice to get refresher training inside a police cruiser, and not just an MRAP [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle] or an ASV [Armored Security Vehicle]."
Engelhardt explained these Soldiers will be the forward operating base police officers, and they will need to rely on their training and interpersonal communications skills throughout the deployment.
"It's not exactly the same, the two types of MPs, we were all taught how to be garrison MPs, but we never had much practice," said Bailey. "So this refresher has been really good, it's going to be helpful when we get down range."