PLYMOUTH, Maine - The 488th Military Police Company conducted their annual training this week at Plymouth Training Site, in Plymouth.
Plymouth training site is a large wooded area in central Maine with miles of dirt roads and trails; it is where this National Guard unit often run operations. It provides plenty of room for woodland operations and trainings that prepare the Soldiers for a real combat environment.
The unit's training at this site was multifaceted, consisting of convoy operations, security measures, driver training, vehicle recovery, and much more.
"Today is our culminating event," said Pfc. Max Brown. "We've run lanes for different scenarios we might be in overseas."
These lanes and scenarios vary greatly because military police are required to stay proficient in tasks ranging from garrison law enforcement to combat support roles, such as route clearance and improvised explosive device detection.
"We are a combat support company," said Capt. Scott Baker, the unit commander. "There are a lot of different tasks that we have to be knowledgeable of and have expertise in."
The 488th stays ready for deployments at all times and is focusing in particular on their combat readiness during this year's training as opposed to law enforcement tactics.
"We train for if we get asked to go overseas," said Baker. "We're honing all these skills in anticipation of a potential wartime mission."
When in a deployment environment, military police provide support for infantry units. Both are able to conduct operations the other cannot, making them an effective team when operating together.
"We support infantry and forward elements to help them keep the roads open, take their detainees, or take their exploited intelligence to the rear so they can keep moving forward," said Baker.
The weather for the training events topped 90 degrees with high humidity, which added difficulty and stress to the training.
"This year we've been out in the snow, the rain, and the heat," said Baker. "It helps to train in varying conditions, it tests our ability to use our equipment in different settings and environments."
Field training can be very beneficial due to its hands on nature and its use of equipment that a unit would use during an actual deployment. It is also enjoyable to many unit members.
"It's what the guys want to do," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Brown the unit readiness noncommissioned officer. "They want to get out and train on our actual tasks."
The unit took Humvees, armored security vehicles, and light medium tactical vehicles to support their mission.
The training ended Wednesday with their annual Best Squad competition. The event will take squads from within the company to compete against each other head to head for the title of Best Squad.
This competition will involve Humvee pulls, weapons assembly, ruck marches, and many other draining tasks. This is all part of a usual and beneficial annual training for the 488th Military Police Company.
"I love being an MP," said Pfc. Brown. "It was the perfect fit, combining law enforcement and military service."