By Maj. Amabilia Payen, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public AffairsSeptember 22, 2014
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- The California National Guard's 670th Military Police Company, spent a month training here as part of their mobilization and training requirements for a deployment to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, recently.
The MP company began with unarmed self-defense with the instructors from Task Force Stallion, 3rd Battalion, 362nd Armored Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade. Sgt. 1st Class Michael Franka, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the TF Stallion USD team, felt the unit was pretty motivated and well-disciplined for the classes.
"They have done a good job catching on to the techniques," said Franka.
1st Lt. Brock Young, 670th MP, 1st platoon leader, thinks the training is very informative and useful, should any of his Soldiers come face to face with a disgruntle detainee.
"What the instructors are teaching us now is ultimately helping my Soldiers," said Young. "For the most part, no one in my platoon has been to Cuba before. I do have a lot of younger enlisted Soldiers who are looking forward to this mission."
This is entirely true for two 670th Soldiers, Spc. Karen Fieser and Pfc. Malachi Beasley. This will be the first deployment for both Soldiers.
Fieser works for an armored courier company in her civilian life and she expresses her excitement for this deployment, mentioning how this deployment experience will contribute to her skills in being more prepared for the unexpected.
"I enjoyed the training. I like how it is a little bit mixed up compared to training we have had in the past," said Fieser. "We are learning a bunch of different ways to do things, which for me, is more realistic. I think I'll react better in a real-live situation."
Beasley is a student at Westmount College majoring in communications and wants to get his education before starting a law enforcement career. "This will be good for me," he said with respect to the training he received with TF Stallion.
"I've been enjoying the training a lot because I want to be able to apply it to my deployment, if it ever came down to that," added Beasley. "That is where my mindset is right now, I could be tired, but I have to be focused."
The 670th continued their training for GTMO, by conducting ranges in order to qualify for weapons including non-lethal, among other classes on military police tasks. They rounded everything out with a cumulative training exercise at the end of their month's preparation at the Forward Operating Base Westbrook prison compound in order to validate their knowledge and skills acquired.
The CTE is controlled by TF Stallion and it is intended to re-create scenarios that the Soldiers of the 670th MP Co. will be faced with when operating in GTMO. This includes 24-hour operations for the company.
"Our goal is to accomplish our mission without accident or incident," said 1st Lt. James Stanfield, 670th MP Co. commander. "We will treat our customers with dignity and respect."
Stanfield thanks the trainers of the 5th AR Bde., and describes them as being really good at their jobs, especially in range operations where the 670th ran through effectively.
"I think the training we received was invaluable due to the fact that we came here as basic military policeman and we needed to learn to be interment and resettlement specialists," said Stanfield. "I believe the training we have received here will lay the foundation for our success at GTMO."
First Sgt. Arne Eastlund, the senior noncommissioned officer in the 670th MP Co., wanted to let the families of his Soldiers know that his priority will be to keep the Soldiers safe and ensure they all return to their Families.
"I just want to let the Families know that we thank them for lending us their sons and daughters, wives and husbands to go far away from their home," said Eastlund. "I'd like to remind them that we are going to do the best job we can to take care of our Soldiers and motivate our Soldiers."
"Please don't hesitate to send those care packages and even an old-fashioned written letter mailed to their Soldier," added Eastlund. "It's generation after generation that when mail call comes up and they hear their name, it's the best morale booster that the Soldiers can get."
The 670th MP Co. will conduct their GTMO mission within a year and return to Fort Bliss for demobilization before heading back to California.