By Spc. Laura Bauer, 123rd Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentNovember 13, 2019
BELLEMONT, Ariz. - Citizen-Soldiers with the Arizona Army National Guard, 1st Battalion, 215th Regional Training Institute, train new Military Policemen at Camp Navajo Military Base in Bellemont, Ariz., Nov. 2, 2019, during the 31B re-class course. The month-long course is one of nine throughout the country and is coordinated and taught by traditional National Guard members.
"I like to incorporate my military and my civilian law enforcement experience in these courses. I would say that with this course, you get a lot more real-world experience from the instructors," Staff Sgt. Shepard Vaughan, an instructor with the 1st BN 215th RTI and a City of Mesa, Ariz., police officer. "With this re-class course with the Guard, you have instructors who are border patrol agents, civilian police officers, and correctional officers so the students can pull a wealth of knowledge from all these different sources."
This Military Occupational Specialty Transition course brings Soldiers from all over the world to receive MP training from 11 Phoenix, Ariz. based instructors. The class is comprised of 27 active duty, reserve and National Guard students, some of whom traveled from as far as Korea to attend this training course.
"The level of training here is good, a lot of the instructors have civilian law enforcement knowledge and are well informed," said Sgt. Eric Holmes, a MOS re-class with the 1057th MP Company based out of Chadron, Nebraska.
The course is separated into two phases. The first phase covers the law and order aspect of Military Police duties. During the first phase, students are given scenario-based training in a classroom environment. This is followed up by a final exercise on the last day of the phase where the students are given the opportunity to put everything they have learned in the classroom to use in real-life scenarios.
"The students are at the end of phase one and are doing their law and order exercises. This is a culmination of what they have learned over the last two weeks. They are going through scenarios where they respond to domestic violence calls, roaming patrols, traffic stops, apprehending a drunk driver and being on the lookout for individuals who have been classified as BOLOs," said Vaughan.
During the second phase of training, students will learn the tactical side of the MP duties. They will conduct convoy operations, operate roadblocks and checkpoints as well as qualify with the M9mm handgun and familiarize with the M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun.
"After the second phase is complete they will go back to their units and they will actually understand and be able to say, they know how to do this as an MP, they know what a MK 19 is, they know how to mount that truck and they know how to operate an M9 handgun," said Vaughan. "Now, after this, they will understand and know the regiment and how to operate as an MP."
Over the last six years, this Arizona Army National Guard course has boosted the MP ranks by successfully training approximately 120 MOS qualified Military Policemen and women. The RTI currently conducts one of these re-class training courses per year; however, they plan to increase the frequency to bi-annually starting next year.
"This course helps the overall readiness of the Army in that now we have 27 more MOS qualified active duty, reserve and National Guard MP's who can perform their duties when they go back to their units and answer the call when the President needs them to deploy," said Sgt. 1st Class John Winder, a guest instructor from the 850th MP Battalion.