TORII STATION, Okinawa – The 247th Military Police Detachment recently transitioned under U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa as part of a move to help streamline its mission.
The detachment, which is comprised of 45 military police Soldiers, was previously under the 10th Support Group. It serves as the primary police force for Torii Station, Naha Military Port and seven Defense Logistics Agency fuel sites on the island.
Capt. John Altman, detachment commander, said the 10th SG had different external mission requirements that no longer efficiently aligned with his unit’s mission.
“Falling under garrison just puts us more in line with how our mission would be,” he said. “We were splitting our focus, so this allows us to focus solely on that law enforcement mission.”
Altman said the transition solidifies the unit’s relationship with the garrison and supports its mission to safeguard garrison assets and personnel.
“Our mission set is to provide the law enforcement and physical security personnel,” he said. “We train, man and equip them at the detachment to then perform the law enforcement.”
The recent move follows last year’s realignment of the 88th and 901st MP Dets. – the latter of which specializes in military working dogs – to U.S. Army Garrison Japan at Camp Zama.
While all the detachments were formerly under garrison control, it became difficult for the garrisons to effectively manage them at the time, Altman said.
In 2002, the Military Police Battalion Japan was activated as a provisional unit to provide command and control over the MP detachments assigned to U.S. Army Japan. The unit was dissolved in 2015 and the detachments transitioned to either the 10th SG or the 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Camp Zama.
The 247th MP Det. officially marked its return to the Okinawa garrison with a patching ceremony June 14, where Soldiers replaced the USARJ patch with a U.S. Army Materiel Command patch.
Sgt. Benjamin Gregory, a military police investigator, was one of the Soldiers to change patches.
In his current role, Gregory said he is responsible for investigating cases that can range from child neglect and assault to domestic abuse and other criminal activity. He also assists with desk duty and patrols when needed.
Gregory said he has yet to notice any challenges to his role with the transition and welcomed anything that can help him and others be successful in their duties.
“It seems like everything is running pretty smoothly since we’ve transitioned,” he said.