FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – Soldiers from the 15th Military Police Brigade, along with the Leavenworth Police Department, Kansas City Federal Bureau of Investigations, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, conducted their annual escaped inmate exercise on June 16.
Two Soldiers assigned to the 15th MP Brigade, Sgt. 1st Class Jon Ours and Sgt. 1st Class Ivan Velazquez, playing the role of the inmates, “escaped” from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks just before 6 a.m. Over the next several hours, a massive search took place involving the help of K-9 teams and helicopter surveillance. Both inmates were captured around 10 a.m. on the installation near the Rod and Gun Club and Brunner Range.
“We’re very fortunate and blessed to have both local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that support us in these types of events,” said Col. Michael Johnston, the 15th MP Brigade commander and the commandant of both the USDB and Joint Regional Correctional Facility. “If you don’t take the opportunity to test our policies and procedures, then we’ll never get it right when a real event happens. This was a showcase of what right looks like.”
This was Johnston’s second exercise after taking command in 2020.
“My Soldiers reacted how I wanted them to react,” he said. “From the time to when the alert went out, to Soldiers coming in, to coordination with multiple other agencies, today really paid dividends for our team.”
The last actual escape from the USDB was on April 30, 1998, when Kenneth Taylor and Jeromy Willis escaped in a garbage truck. They were captured about an hour later about 25 miles east of Fort Leavenworth.
The USDB is the only maximum-security prison in the Department of Defense. The current USDB was completed in July 2002 and inmates moved into the facility in October of that year. The population is about 450.