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NEWS | Oct. 7, 2015

Army Reserve Military Police work hand-in-hand with Canadian and German counterparts

By Spc. Stephanie Ramirez 200th Military Police Command

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - Disoriented and in extreme discomfort, Army Reserve, Canadian and German military police soldiers showed their endurance as they attempted to control a subject after being sprayed with pepper spray here.

“The training is challenging but very rewarding. Never in a million years would I have imagined that being sprayed with [pepper spray] would be so painful and difficult to fight through,” said Capt. Nana Baidoo, a soldier with Germany’s 12th Military Police Regiment.

Operation Guardian Justice is a yearly exercise which brings together corrections specialists and military police from all corners of the U.S. and Canada to fine tune MP operations and tactics. The 200th Military Police Command, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, organizes the event.

The exercise, hosted by the 333rd Military Police Brigade, based in Farmingdale, New York, began June 5and will conclude July 19. More than 1,400 multinational military police soldiers will train on the basic detention operations techniques and tactics.

The exercise was developed to reinforce the basic skill sets taught during American Soldiers’ advanced individual training at the U.S. Army Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

“The overall purpose for this year’s mission is to teach the Soldiers the basics of detention operations directly from doctrine,” said Cpl. Jasper L. Dampier, the noncommissioned officer in charge of detention operations for the exercise. “The Military Police Corps needs to step away from the current war scenarios and begin sharpening their basic skills in order to be prepared for a change of theater.”

Dampier, assigned to the 324the MP Battalion in Fresno, California, said one of the most important things he hopes soldiers get from the training is a chance to apply their skills in action.

Throughout the exercise, small MP teams will conduct close-quarter battle drills during live-fire training events, as well as non-lethal tactics. According to Dampier, the American, Canadian and German soldiers will work together to improve their skills, expand their knowledge and develop new friendships.

Capt. Jean-Yves Matte, commander of Canada’s 5th Military Police Platoon, 5th Military Police Regiment Headquarters based in Quebec City, attended the exercise with his troops. He said his MPs work in detention operations on a daily basis, and coming to Fort McCoy has been a great experience.

“The fact that there are so many similarities within our operating procedures has opened the doors for the Canadian and the American soldiers to work together seamlessly,” he said.

One unique aspect of the training was having the Canadians work side-by-side with Army Reserve Soldiers as trainers, said 1st Lt. Armand Kalugdan, assigned to the 351st Military Police Company.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the Canadians’ knowledge of military police operations and really enjoyed training with them,” Kalugdan said. “I would love to do some more training with the Canadians and possibly, in the future, even send some of our Soldiers to participate in some of their high-speed training.”

Operation Guardian Justice is meant to expose military police Soldiers to scenarios that challenge them and encourage them to hone their skills.

“The back-to-doctrine push will prepare Army Reserve Soldiers for the battlefields of tomorrow,” said Dampier.