FORT GREELY, Alaska – Trading the warm sunshine of Southern California for the frozen snowscape of the Alaska Interior, a detachment of Soldiers with the California National Guard’s 330th Military Police Company arrived at Fort Greely on March 30, 2021.
This detachment is the first element of what will be a rotational force to support the security mission.
The added military police Soldiers will integrate with the military police of the ground-based Interceptor Security Company, 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard, to defend and secure the Missile Defense Complex.
Col. Mike Hatfield, 100th Missile Defense Brigade commander, said the added MP Soldiers were necessary due to national security requirements. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion must achieve the highest levels of compliance and training readiness.
Due to the congressionally directed expansion of the MDC, the 100th Brigade conducted a Force Design Update in 2018 to meet current and emerging requirements. This force management process codified the requirement for added security with the necessary legal authorities to perform the security mission.
“As the ground-based midcourse defense mission continues to expand and evolve, so must the security of the Missile Defense Complex,” Hatfield said. “We are pleased to welcome the talented professionals of the 330th MP Company to our extended GMD family. We look forward to incorporating them into our mission and sharing our various experiences for the good of the organization.”
The Missile Defense Complex houses ground-based inceptors. Purely defensive, these highly sophisticated projectiles will be launched on order to intercept and destroy threat warheads inbound to the United States and designated areas. Construction is underway on another missile field to hold additional interceptors in the future. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion MP Company, comprised of all active Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers, guards and defends this facility.
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, in coordination with U.S. Strategic Command, generated a request for forces to augment the organic MP company. The 330th Military Police Company of the California Army National Guard’s 49th Military Police Brigade was in a deployment cycle and ready to support.
The mission at Fort Greely is solely site security. The 330th Military Police Soldiers will integrate into this mission on a phased approach that will include site-specific training, familiarization and ultimately, validation. The Soldiers will operate autonomously after receiving mission essential task certification by the 49th Missile Defense Battalion.
The 330th detachment left California in February and conducted pre-mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, in March. Members arrived at Fairbanks International Airport and traveled by bus to Fort Greely, some 100 miles southeast in Alaska’s vast Interior. All 330th Soldiers followed COVID precautions and were tested and restricted their movements for 10 days after arriving at Fort Greely.
This is the first time many of these Soldiers have mobilized away from their home station, and 2nd Lt. Sidonia Vega, 330th MP Company detachment commander, said her Soldiers are excited about the opportunity.
“Our first impressions were exceeded with the newly renovated barracks rooms,” Vega said. “And of course, the snow. Many of my Soldiers have not experienced weather like this. We are excited to learn a new mission, explore a new place and make new connections with the other Soldiers here.”