WARRENTON, Ore. - Annual training (AT) for the 1186 Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard, included Soldiers coming from basic training with this being their first annual training. The operation tempo, physical and mental demands, and required teamwork are likened to a baptism by fire during training in May, at Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center.

1Lt. Meleji Meekisho, the company's executive officer, said, "This year AT is about three weeks long. It is the perfect opportunity to get [the new Soldiers] into our ranks and into our trucks and to build that cohesive unit from the ground up."

The unit carried out police operations, detainee operations, support and security, and support to mobility training.

Meekisho said, "We will conduct specialized lanes with training and team-building at the squad level and really focusing on troop leading procedures."

The company made changes in their training schedule to integrate the new Soldiers and bring all MPs together for training and company cohesion. They began with the basics in the classroom allowing the squads and the company to integrate, walk-throughs to understand the details, and ended with hands-on, reactionary scenarios utilizing a variety of weapons.

PFC Joshua Norris, a driver and newest member with the MPs, is on his third drill with the unit. He said, "This training is helping me to be more of a member of the team because I am getting more hands-on work and being right there with everybody."

As MPs, hands-on experience is necessary with the variety of weapons they carry to complete their missions.

Cpt. Brian Fike, acting MP commander and assistant operations officer with 821 Troop Command Battalion said, "The squads carry a lot of firepower from 9mm pistols to grenade launchers and .50 caliber machine guns on the trucks."

The unit also conducted a personal security detail (PSD) training lane during their time at Camp Rilea. They maneuvered through a route to pick up a distinguished visitor, encountered simulated dangers along the way: an improvised explosive device, an ambush and roadblocks. They fired weapons with blank rounds, took on safety and security challenges, worked through the decision-making process, and performed as a team.

All scenarios during this training were to prepare them for any mission at home and overseas to protect and serve.

Staff Sgt. Curtis Winkelman, a squad leader, said, "We are always on standby."