CLARKSVILLE - The 163rd Military Police Company Special Reaction Team recently participated in a unique interagency training opportunity with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Emergency Services Unit and the Clarksville Police Department.
Although military and civilian police only work together in extremely rare situations and when approved by Congress, the training provided a chance for the police officers to compare techniques and learn different perspectives of law enforcement operations.
"We've never had enough people to do a multiple objective hit all at one time, but working with Montgomery County and CPD gave us enough - that was definitely something we've never done before," Spc. Dylan Shipley said. "It basically became one big team, and it worked out well."
The training at Clarksville's Public Safety Training Center was chance for Shipley to learn techniques from seasoned civilians with years of experience, he said.
During the training, each strike team received packets with background information to aid in planning and executing tactical missions. Incorporating the combined team concept allowed the agencies to conduct training on a level they could not achieve individually. This allowed evaluators to assess team capabilities and limitations throughout the training missions. said Lt. Sonny Goodowens, Montgomery Sherriff's Office ESU executive officer.
Goodowens was in charge of the training and part of the planning team. The planning team included members of Fort Campbell's military police unit and Clarksville Police Department.
"It's the first time three SWAT teams have conducted a simultaneous, dynamic search warrant in close proximity of each other," Goodowens said. "In the training environment, there's more time for us to talk, get to know each other better, get on a first name basis, if you will, and work together. I hope the teams have learned a lot about each other."
Identifying ways to address deficiencies were among a list of benefits participants mentioned. During the training's final assessment, the teams agreed that recognizing communication challenges was key to improving training.
"With having all three agencies train for really the first time together, you have a lot of communications issues, equipment issues," said Jonathan Brown, officer in charge, 163rd MP SRT. "[The agencies] have different ways that they achieve their goals and their missions."