Patriot Soldiers provide MPs adrenaline fueled training
March 12, 2014
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Soldiers from 1-307th Infantry Regiment, 174th Infantry Brigade, harnessed their collective knowledge and experience to create highly realistic law and order training for members of the 313th Military Police Detachment Feb. 22-23.
For many of the Las Vegas Army Reserve MPs the high points of the course were the shoot / don't shoot exercises and active shooter scenarios.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Zoelle, 1-307th non-commissioned officer in charge at the training site, each member of the 313th went through various stations testing their ability to identify and react to threats in an urban environment. The law and order training differs from standard military training mobilizing units receive because it focuses on skills MPs need when responding to situations on bases housing friendly forces.
The course instructors incorporated various training aids to add realism, such as role players, loud music, and simulated ammunition, added Zoelle.
Soldiers from the 313th responded to radio calls for assistance, encountering dimly lit building interiors and roadside traffic stops not knowing what, or who, waited for them.
For Cpl. Nicholas Hardin, 313th military police, it was his first opportunity to use Simunitions, non-lethal training rounds similar to paint balls fired from his 9mm pistol. Some role players also had the training ammunition.
"It is better having targets shoot back," said Hardin. "It really gets the adrenaline pumping. They don't really hurt, but you feel (the Simunitions) when they hit. It also gets the muscle memory right, so I am prepared when it comes time to draw my weapon."
Other members of the 313th shared Hardin's excitement about the quality of the training.
According to Pfc. Michael Groves, the law and order training progressed at a rate that favored both experienced and less experienced MPs.
"I liked how each scenario was different, so it was like a crawl, walk, run," said Groves. "I also like that we had a lot of rounds for training. We went through a lot of situations, so it was not just a one-time thing. The instructors kept pushing us and giving more and more training."
1-307th instructors were equally impressed with the performance of the 313th MPs.
"There is a mix of experience in the unit," stated Sgt. Miles Noonan, 1-307th military police instructor. "We have some MPs in the unit and some civilian law enforcement. So with their mix of experience they are able to learn from each other as well as learning from us."
Reflecting on the day's events, the Soldiers from the 313th came away with valuable experiences and lessons for future use.
Groves said important concepts such as properly identifying targets and avoiding "tunnel vision" are aspects of the training he will remember.
First Army Division East, in partnership with the Army Reserve and Army National Guard, advises, assists and trains Reserve Component Forces, in both pre and post mobilization through multi- component integrated collective training, in accordance with Army Total Force Policy, Department of the Army, Army Forces Command and First Army directives in order to achieve Army Force Generation directed readiness requirements.