By Mr. Brian Hill (Leonard Wood)October 23, 2019
British and Canadian military police officials are at Fort Leonard Wood this week alongside members of the U.S. Army Military Police School attending an interoperability conference.
The goal of the conference is to build a knowledge base on the capabilities of each coalition partner while fostering closer relations to ensure success in future joint-training opportunities and operations, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Yasuda, USAMPS chief of staff.
"The purpose is to obtain a greater understanding of the MP capability, doctrine and training in order to strengthen relations and shape potential training and interoperability in preparation for future large-scale combat operations," Yasuda said.
The lead Canadian attendee of the event, Brig. Gen. Simon Trudeau, Canadian Forces provost marshal and commander of Canadian Forces Military Police Group, said he looks forward to additional opportunities for his MPs to train with his counterparts to the south.
"I'm pleased to be here with my team this week to learn more about our capabilities and capacities, but also have a discussion and look for opportunities in the future to train and exercise together," he said.
British lead attendee, Brig. Vivienne Buck, British Army Royal Military Police provost marshal, also spoke on the opportunities events like this present for partnership.
"It's an absolute honor to be here with my team," she said. "We look forward this week to explore more opportunities for working together."
The conference, scheduled to conclude Friday, provides a chance for key British, Canadian and U.S. military leaders in the MP arena to engage with each other, gain insights into capabilities, but also to identify potential interoperability friction points to develop solutions for enhancing future relations, Yasuda said.
Some of the specific topics covered throughout the week include breaking into detail the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats -- commonly referred to as SWOT -- for each nation's MPs, detention and policing operations vignettes, and the development of timelines for future activities between the coalition partners. Included this week is a visit to the Defense Forensics Science Center, near Atlanta, Georgia, for a criminal investigation capability demonstration.
According to Yasuda, the U.S. and British have had an MP officer exchange program since the early 1970s, and in 2013, the U.S. and Canada began to exchange officers as well.
"These exchange programs … are essential so (we) can operate effectively and interchangeably in designated combined operations," Yasuda said. "Most importantly, these exchanges exist to expand relationships and friendships with our military police allies."
"Our nations will never go and fight alone … we'll probably always go together and so that's how critically important this is," said Brig. Gen. Brian Bisacre, USAMPS commandant. "The world is getting no less complicated in the future and it will take these types of alliances, this type of work and this type of commonality (to) ensure our success to protect what our nations consider very near and dear -- freedom and liberty."