Feb. 24, 2010

Virginia training regiment teaches MP skills to Guard and Reservists

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va.—Instructors from the Virginia National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute have been busy training 12 National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers from across the region to become Military Police at Fort Pickett, Va., since Jan. 31 as part of the RTI’s MP reclassification course.  

 

A student at the MP reclassification course at Fort Pickett takes notes while questioning a detainee while on an assault call during the scenario-based training. The Soldiers in the class responded to several types of calls during the first phase of the course. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

During Phase I of the course, which ran through Feb. 13, the Soldiers learned the basic law and order skills that will transfer them from their current military occupational specialty in to the field of military law enforcement, according to Staff Sgt. Michelle Smith, senior instructor.

The students were given classroom instruction on various incidents they would be expected to react to while working as MPs in the field. They learned to respond to domestic violence calls, sexual assault calls, individuals driving under the influence, burglaries, traffic control and a myriad of crimes seen on and off military installations.

Once the students have been given the lessons they must then go out and apply the knowledge in reality-based scenarios designed to test the student’s comprehension of the lecture.

“We’ll give them a scenario. We have the Provost Marshall Office set up in our office building and we have a desk sergeant and he will dispatch the students to the scene of the crime,” said Smith. “They’ll have to respond like they are on a real call.”

“They’ll go through all the necessary procedures, obtain all the information, recording everything and then decide which actions they’ll take, who they’ll notify and what paperwork they will be filling out.”

Several of the situations the students run through have varying outcomes based on how the Soldiers react to the role-players during the scenarios.

“Usually with the domestic we make it an apprehension so that they are learning how to apprehend and handcuff a person then do all their searching techniques,” she said. “These are the scenarios you would see on any base. You look at the blotter and there are the domestics and the rapes.”

 

Two Soldiers discuss their plan of action while responding to a call during an excersie during MP reclassification course taught by the 3rd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute at Fort Pickett, Va. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Following the first phase, the 12 Soldiers moved directly into the second phase Feb. 14 where the emphasis shifts from law and order to focusing on more Soldier-oriented skills such as qualifying on squad automatic weapons, crew-served weapons and room clearing techniques.

In phase II, which will graduate Feb. 27, the students go to the M-9 range, the Mk-19 range and the M-249 range. They focus on convoy escort lanes, VIP escorts and setting up road blocks and tactical control points, according to Staff Sgt. Danny Warren, a course instructor. The Soldiers also conduct a multi-day military operations in urban terrain exercise focusing on upper and lower window entry, building clearing, approaching a building and moving as a fire team.

“As highly deployable as we are as National Guardsmen and Reservists, the MOUT training will probably play more of a role than the law and order,” said Warren. “You could be out on a convoy escort 100 miles from a regular base and they may tell you they just had a rape of a Soldier at a location and you need to go work it; these skills will come into play.”

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