June 18, 2007
229th MP Co., VDF hone riot skills during training at Fort Pickett
By Pfc. Geoff Dudley
Virginia Guard Public Affairs
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Wroblewski (in red) faces off with Soldiers from the 229th Military Police Company and members of the Virginia Defense Force during civil disturbance training May 13 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Pfc. Geoff Dudley, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
FORT PICKETT, Va. – Soldiers from the 229th Military Police Company and members of the Virginia Defense Force reacted to an unruly mob outside of a local building at Fort Pickett on June 13. The Soldiers formed up, armed with batons and shielded helmets to deal with the mob as they were met with insults from the angry hecklers.
The mob was actually part of a training exercise designed to train Soldiers from the 229th and the VDF in military assistance for civilian disturbances (MACDIS). The “mob” was actually fellow members of the 229th equipped with padded shields and foam body armor to lessen the force of the blows dealt by the Soldiers.
“The Red Man suit gives a realistic simulation of a disturbance,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Wroblewski of the 229th MP Co. “Of somebody trying to probe an area or not wanting to leave an area. The Red Man suit protects you a lot so you can take stronger hits compared to the foam pad shields.”
The training spread over two days. May 12 was spent training and refreshing Soldiers in the different techniques on how to move as a group and disarm and diffuse a riot or mob situation.
The unit then put its knowledge to the test the next day in a simulated scenario against fellow Soldiers, outfitted in protective gear, who tested the troops by pushing at the line and grabbing batons from the Soldiers.
These exercises train and refresh the troops in the different skills employed by military police.
“We’re pretty much the governor’s fist, if you will,” said Staff Sgt. William D. Bart, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Platoon, Detachment 1 of the 229th. “Law enforcement is his right arm but we’re the fist. He calls us out when he needs us.”
“I’m glad it’s a requirement” said Bart. “We will be ready or for anything that may happen in the future.”