ANSBACH, Germany -- For the U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach Department of Emergency Services, training is a top priority. Ensuring that Soldiers and civilians are trained on police tactics, techniques, and the myriad of tools in their tool belt, is critical to having an emergency response force that is adept at handling anything that may come its way.

Recently, Soldiers assigned to USAG Ansbach had a chance to put their law enforcement skills to the test, and learn how to work under pressure. Soldiers are participating in a two-week Installation Law Enforcement Certification Course, also known as ILEC.

The course is designed for newly arrived Soldier's who play a law enforcement role on the installation. This includes Soldiers assigned to USAG Ansbach Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 527th Military Police and 131st Military Working Dog Detachment.

ILEC is designed specifically to go beyond training personnel may have received earlier in their careers, to include Military Police School. The course covers a wide array of topics: first aid, non-lethal weapons, DUI's, traffic stops, and active shooter response. Over the course of the two-weeks, Soldiers will be taught by certified Field Training Officers who possess expertise on the specific topics they are tasked with teaching.

Sgt. Jarod Phillips, a Non-lethal Individual Weapons Instructor assigned to USAG Ansbach Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, taught course participants about Oleoreisin Capiscum (OC), commonly known as "pepper spray." OC is one of the many non-lethal tools Military Police Officers have at their disposal.

During the training, Soldiers were tested on their ability to react to different scenarios, while recovering from the effects of OC contamination. This included apprehending a suspect, and disarming an assailant.

"If Soldiers successfully complete the training, they will be certified to carry OC," said Phillips. He says this training is necessary to ensure Soldiers "know how OC feels, so they don't over-use it."

"In my professional opinion, hands on training is the only way to do training. It allows Soldiers to take a mental note of what they have learned, so when they are faced with the same situation in the future, they know how to react," said Phillips.

Pfc. Justice Stein, 31B, Military Police Officer assigned to the 527th Military Police Company, became level one-certified during the OC training.

"I'm learning first-hand, my first unit had a different mission set, and this training is an opportunity to re-learn all of the law enforcement training hands-on," said Stein.

While just a small part of the ILEC course, OC and non-lethal weapons training is vital in preparing MP's with the necessary skills and tools they need to de-escalate situations they may encounter while performing their duties in the field.

In addition to successfully completing two weeks of training, Soldiers must also pass a course exam before they are able to graduate the ILEC course. A graduation ceremony for all Soldiers who successfully complete the course will be held at building 5843D on Bismarck Kaserne, Ansbach, Germany at 12pm on Oct. 28, 2019.