The Georgia Army National Guard Fort Stewart-based, 179th Military Police Company trained an additional two weeks on combat readiness at Fort Stewart in preparation for their three-week rotation at the National Training Center from April 16-21, 2019.
The 179th trained on diverse tactical situations through missions which tested their knowledge of security and military police operations, reacting to direct and indirect fire, setting up entry control points, vehicle searches and more. The unit conducted classroom instruction on many subjects including mounted land navigation, civil security operations and detainee operations, as well as individual weapons qualification the week prior to their field training exercise.
The unit is mostly composed of newer soldiers who have never trained together. The unit saw the importance of training these soldiers in preparation for their evaluation at NTC.
"This platoon that we have been running is made up of entirely new soldiers and getting them up to speed has been easier than anticipated," said Sgt. 1st Class Lucas Heise, platoon sergeant. "They have pulled together really well and should perform well with their active-duty component at NTC."
The unit will be on rotation at NTC at Fort Irwin, Calif. in May. During the training rotation, the unit is attached to the active duty 139th Military Police Company, 3rd Infantry Division. The soldiers are tested on their combat readiness, tactical knowledge and unit lethality.
For soldiers of the unit, the training completed in the classroom and during the field training exercise prior to leaving for NTC serve as development for new soldiers, a refresher for older soldiers and ensures the squads work in the most efficient way to keep their unit safe at the combat training center.
"We don't get to do this every day like our active duty component, so it's important to be prepared before the unit leaves for NTC," said Spc. Jaslyn Foster, military policeman. "You don't want to go out there and get "killed" right away."
The unit will face diverse challenges while in the "box" at NTC so preparation as a unit is essential to the success of their mission. The unit is using subject matter experts to evaluate the unit during the field training exercise to gain a different perspective on areas of improvement.
"The National Training Center is one of the most intensive and challenging environments Soldiers endure as part of mobilization preparation," said Cpt. Jerry Cram, battalion training officer, 170th Military Police Battalion. "They will be forced to think on their feet with little guidance while working through these challenges in one of the most realistic simulated combat environments they've ever faced."