By Adriane FossDecember 17, 2009
VICENZA, Italy - Dealing with deadly rampages was the focus of training for more than 30 military police and emergency service personnel from Caserma Ederle's 464th Military Police and Camp Darby's 511th MP platoons at Vicenza Dec. 18.
Known as active shooter training, it featured classroom and hands-on scenarios designed to help prepare MPs for situations in which they may be unexpectedly forced to deal with extremely dangerous individuals.
"This training makes our MPs better able to protect our community and it also helps us to better support the local Carabinieri in any situation," said U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Director of Emergency Services Deputy Director Adeal Frater.
After last month's mass shooting in which 13 people were killed and 30 were wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, the training seemed particularly relevant.
"This training primarily equates to saving lives. It teaches the MPs to be more aggressive and accurate when responding to an ongoing situation where lives are at stake," said Frater. "Although we do not have primary jurisdiction in Italy, we will be able to support our host nation authorities better with this type of training."
The MPS started with several hours of classroom instruction covering real-life scenarios which demonstrated that if police had been schooled in active shooter training, they could have saved countless lives, said Frater. The afternoon focused heavily on hands-on, fast-action shoot-and-move techniques in three to four-man teams to take out a hostile shooter in different situations. Building-search tactics, room entry and clearing at the installation's shoot house were also key training tasks.
"What's significant about this is that our military police want to know what to do in any given situation and it's up to us as leaders to ensure they get the equipment and training instruction they need," he said.
Instruction, provided by Special Agent Nick Ivanovic of the Kaiserslautern, Germany, Criminal Investigation Division Office also covered rescue team tactics, approaching and breaching buildings and low-light, close-quarters conflict. Frater said the MPs leave the course with a better knowledge of their weaknesses they need to work on and confidence in their ability to find and engage an active shooter.
Although not all of Vicenza and Livorno's law enforcement personnel were able to attend, "the training was conducted in such a way that the MPs who attended can go out and train others. It was train-the-trainer," said 1st Lt. Daniel McCarey, MP operations OIC for Vicenza and Livorno.