Military police keep children safe during Jamboree exercise
July 27, 2010
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. - With "Be prepared" as one of their core creeds, the Boy Scouts of America have spent many months getting ready for this year's National Scout Jamboree here July 26 - August 4.
They've packed sunscreen to protect against ultraviolet rays, canteens for hydration and even their trusty insect repellent to ward off unwelcome bugs.
But no matter how vigilant a scout may be the task of providing safety and security for the 10-day event would be the obligation of much larger groups like the U.S. military, state, county and local polices forces.
In order to test the effectiveness of Jamboree's safety procedures before the upcoming arrival of the multitudes of scouts, scout leaders and visitors, military police conducted a joint-abduction rescue exercise with the Virginia State and Caroline County, Va., police departments at the main encampment here July 24.
Two Soldiers posed as a captive and a captor tasked to make an abduction and attempt to drive out of the Jamboree area and the military installation before police could patrol, detect and rescue the victim.
"The safety implementation here is outstanding, especially with so many people at this Jamboree where you're going to need as much personnel as you can get," said Army Guardsman Sgt. Stephen Barrah, a rifle infantryman with the 1-115th Combat Army Battalion who posed as the abductor in the exercise. "While every Soldier may know what he or she is doing, we all have to rehearse together and have this fresh in our minds before the event. This exercise is one of the best ways to do that."
After exercise controllers, acting as a scout leader, reported the victim, Army Guardsman Staff Sgt. Corey Buffalo, a combat engineer with the 1-155th Combat Arms Battalion who posing as a scout in the scenario, had been abducted, military dispatchers notified all units to look out for a suspicious vehicle in the area.
Within minutes of receiving the initial dispatch, military, state and local police had cornered, stopped and arrested the abductor and provided the victim with medical care and attention.
"The post police, MPs and state troopers who are doing this are amazing," Sergeant Buffalo said. "I really have a lot of faith these guys can take care of what needs to get done, because they have a lot of experience and training."
And with the opening of the Jamboree just days away, the men and women of the police forces at Fort A.P. Hill stand ready to protect the scouts and visitors at this year's Jamboree.
"This exercise was a good opportunity for us to show the public we are here to keep them safe," said Army 1st Lt. Timothy Butler, military policeman from the 269th Military Police Company. "We are doing our very best, and between our police companies, gate patrols and communications, I think we've got it covered."