By Capt. Joseph L. Winkelman, 3rd Battalion, 362nd Armor Regiment, Task Force Stallion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division WestJune 19, 2014
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- As part of the rigorous Detainee Operations training at 3rd Battalion, 362nd Armor Regiment, Task Force Stallion, 5th Armored Brigade, all Soldiers from the 342nd Military Police Company certified with OC spray, commonly known as pepper spray, recently.
Soldiers from the 342nd are reserve soldiers from Ohio completing their mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Part of their training includes OC spray exposure. The Soldiers go through classroom instruction and direct exposure to OC spray. They will then go through a multiple scenarios to test every Soldier's abilities to make the correct judgment on whether or not to deploy the spray.
"Having prior deployments in detainee operations, I understand the value of being exposed to OC," said Staff Sgt. Corey Stevick, 342nd Military Police Company platoon sergeant.
TF Stallion observer-coach/trainer, Sgt. 1st Class Eduardo Lugaro believes exposing he Soldiers to OC spray tests his or her ability to fight through the adversity and discomfort. It places the Soldiers in a situation where he or she must maintain focus in order to defend his or herself or subdue a detainee.
The purpose of the training is to place the service members in a stressful and dynamic situation which could be encountered while conducting detainee operations.
"Training units in the procedures of how to subdue an individual once exposed to OC is critical to the units' success should a disturbance occur while deployed," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson, TF Stallion O-C/T.