720th MP Bn Soldiers train in active-shooter scenarios
April 4, 2014
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Members from the 720th Military Police Battalion, "Soldiers of the Gauntlet," 89th Military Police Brigade, together with local civilian law enforcement agencies, conducted joint law enforcement training March 24-27 in Killeen in order to develop active shooter response techniques.
The training, given by members of the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training center of Texas State University, is a dynamic course of instruction designed to prepare the first responder to isolate, distract and neutralize an active shooter.
"It helps you better know how to react. It gives you an in-depth concept on how to respond to different situations," said 2nd Lt. Caleb Alsup, 411th Military Police Company, 3rd platoon leader.
Utilizing the train-the-trainer model, the ALERRT curriculum has been adopted by numerous states and agencies as their standard active shooter training, and will additionally provide the battalion with an ability to further conduct internal training.
"It is my vision as the (720th) battalion commander and the installation Provost Marshal that Soldiers who work every day with our community are trained and are going to react the same way that a local police officer is going to react," Lt. Col. David Stender said. "We're doing joint training so we can professionalize our MP training."
The course curriculum includes weapon manipulation, threshold evaluation, concepts and principles of team movement, setting up for room-entry techniques, approach and breaching the crisis site, follow-on responder tactics, improvised explosive devices and post-engagement priorities of work. The course culminates with dynamic "force-on-force" scenarios.
SWAT operator and 10-year instructor of the ALERRT Program Trey Turner, a 19-year San Antonio Police Department veteran, said his main goal is to give the students tools to survive and help others to survive a critical incident like active shooter.
"It's all about stopping the killing and saving the lives," he said.
The force-on-force scenario drives home what students need to do to communicate and to work together.
"It prepares you for the type of emergency situation where you are not with the people you know or you work with every single day," said Spc. Cory Lowe, a 411th MP Co. military police officer.
"The communication between the other agencies is something we definitely take out of this training. It helps you in interacting with each other on your daily duties," Alsup said.
The training was coordinated by the Harker Heights Police Department and hosted a total of 15 Soldiers, 10 HHPD officers, and five Central Texas College Police Department officers.