Aug. 5, 2011

Military police companies focus on core military skills during AT

By Cotton Puryear and Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne     
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va., and VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. The Virginia National Guard’s two military police companies focused on their core military tasks at several training locations across Virginia during their annual training in July. Soldiers from the Manassas-based 266th Military Police Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group trained at Fort Pickett and Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th MP Company trained at the State Military Reservation, Fort Story and the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Center.

 

Soldiers from the Manassas-based 266th Military Police Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group focus on their core military skills July 25 and 26 during their two-week annual training at Fort Pickett. At the request of Fort Pickett Range Operations, Soldiers established traffic control points where they conducted spot checks for drivers licenses, proper vehicle dispatch procedures, seat belt use and general vehicle safety checks. Soldiers also trained route regulation procedures where military police personnel conducted mounted vehicle convoys using Humvees and armored security vehicles where they evaluate routes, ensure proper markings are in place, provide security against route infiltration and facilitate efficient movement along the route. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

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“We came out of reset last year, so this year our focus was on the core military police missions like convoy escort, route regulation enforcement and getting certified on law and order tasks,” said Capt. John Roche, commander of the 266th MP Company. “It is really going back to the core of what we do as MPs and build on that from year to year.”

At the request of Fort Pickett Range Operations, Soldiers from the 266th established traffic control points where they conducted spot checks for drivers’ licenses, proper vehicle dispatch procedures, seat belt use and general vehicle safety checks. Soldiers also trained route regulation enforcement procedures where military police personnel conducted mounted vehicle convoys using Humvees and armored security vehicles where they evaluate routes, ensure proper markings are in place, provide security against route infiltration and facilitate efficient movement along the route.

A military police support company like the 266th or 229th has an assigned strength of about 170 Soldiers and is organized into three line platoons and a headquarters platoon with sections for operations, maintenance, supply and food service. “We are set up to be self-sufficient,” Roche said.

Soldiers from the 266th also received training and certification on less-than-lethal use of force by instructors from the Blackstone-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute. Part of the certification included getting a face full of pepper spray and navigating a course where Soldiers had to exercise specific baton and personnel take down procedures.

“This AT gave us a solid two weeks to come together and really hone those critical MP skills,” Roche said. “Our Soldiers have really enjoyed the training.”

 

Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard's 229th Military Police Company conduct a police investigation at the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Center July 28, 2011. The Soldiers spent three days at the center training in various law enforcement scenarios during their summer annual training. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

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For the Soldiers of the 229th MP Company, this was their first annual training since they redeployed from Iraq in July 2010.

“We realized there were some great resources in the area so we decided to stay close to home and take advantage of those resources,” said Capt. John Hinton, commander of the 229th MP Company.

The 229th conducted both land navigation and combatives training at Fort Story, traveled to Fort Pickett for individual weapons qualification, and had the opportunity to hone their police skills at the State Military Reservation and at the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Law Enforcement Training Center. There, the unit focused on skills that would be useful in a police advisory role, such as presence patrols, police investigation and securing a crime scene.

“The training scenarios were geared toward collecting information and talking to non-hostile civilians the Soldiers may encounter,” Hinton said.

The scenarios including finding a suspicious package outside a convenience store, encountering a dead body in an apartment and responding to a crime scene to conduct an investigation.

“The Soldiers really seemed to enjoy this AT,” Hinton said. “They could stay home and use great facilities, facilities they aren’t familiar with.”   

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