By Staff Sgt. Lloyd Shellenberger and Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellMarch 29, 2013
CAMP WALKER, Korea -- From Africa to Iraq, Afghanistan to South Korea, the Army Reserve's 200th Military Police Command has answered the call and will continue to do so.
More than 40 warfighters from the "Champion" command headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., participated in Exercise Key Resolve 13, which is an annual computer-assisted exercise held March 11-21 on the Korean Peninsula.
Maj. Gen. Sanford E. Holman, commanding general of the 200th MPCOM, said training exercises in Korea like Key Resolve, Ulchi-Freedom Guardian and those stateside like Guardian Justice demonstrate the diversity of training requirements for the full range of military police operations of a command of more than 14,000 Army Reserve Soldiers.
"Our Soldiers are the finest of the Army Reserve and the Army knows our warfighters have the skills, battlefield experience and technical and tactical expertise to execute the most difficult military police missions," Holman said.
Holman said the 200th MPCOM is dedicated to the global mission and is prepared to deploy troops to any mission, any location in the world.
"Our leaders, both NCOs and officers, spend their battle assembly weekends preparing their formations for missions like Key Resolve and UFG, and it shows from the day we step onto the Korean Peninsula."
As more than 40 Army Reserve Soldiers spent long hours working with their Republic of Korea military counterparts in South Korea, dozens of Soldiers maintained 24-hour operations back at Fort Meade, Md.
While conducting daily huddles, responding to inquiries and other command and control tasks, Army Reserve Soldiers spanning two continents and the Pacific Ocean worked seamlessly together as if they were next door to each other.
Lt. Col. Thomas Church, an operations officer with the 200th MPCOM, said having a reach-back capability is a key component of a successful operation.
"We are able to support the forward-deployed elements with a variety of capabilities that are essential to executing any given mission or task," Church said.
During the second week of the exercise, Holman turned over mission control in Korea to Col. Marion Garcia, the 200th MPCOM deputy commanding officer-sustainment, and returned to Fort Meade to work with staff there.
"From here, the commanding general was able to participate in numerous Key Resolve briefings and give immediate feedback to his staff in Korea," Church said. "Those communication links are important and necessary on today's battlefield."
While using some of the most state-of-the-art communication equipment, Holman was able to command and control from both locations.
"On today's battlefield, we rely on technologies to make the right decisions in a timely manner," he said. "We have the best of the best communicators within my brigades and headquarters here. They are the experts we rely on to allow our military police, intelligence specialists, logisticians and personnel teams to execute their missions. We may be a military police command, but I will tell you that all our Soldiers make a difference in the fight."
From mechanics to cooks and finance clerks, Holman said he knows everyone has an important role in every mission the 200th MPCOM takes on.
One of the roles critical to success is intelligence operations. With teams working in several locations, to include Fort Meade, Lt. Col. James Williams, the Deputy G-2 Intelligence Operations Officer for the 200th MPCOM, said Key Resolve is a great exercise to submerse his Soldiers in a joint environment.
"Key Resolve helps build long lasting relationships between the two countries, fostering future partnerships for many generations," he said. "Each U.S. service member is given a chance to hone their skills in a real-world training scenario."
Williams said bringing different cultures together during a military exercise develops new friendships.
"In truth, when Soldiers and service members from different cultures and backgrounds chew the same dirt together it builds camaraderie."
That camaraderie was evident to Holman when he visited Camp Warrior during the beginning of the exercise.
"The challenge is when you have one battle assembly a month and a two-week exercise each year," Holman said. "For about eleven months you have pieces of the puzzle, but when you come to the exercise the pieces come together, and you understand the big picture once the puzzle is complete."