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NEWS | Oct. 8, 2015

Reserve military police work side by side with Fort Hunter Liggett counterparts

By Sgt. Nazly Confesor 200th Military Police Command

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Soldiers with the 382nd Military Police Detachment from San Diego, worked with Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL) police to maintain law and order, and force protection during their annual training here, July 26- Aug. 10.

“There are a lot of troops around here for training so we need to make sure everyone is obeying the speed limits and safety regulations," said Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, MP officer assigned to the 382nd MP Det. "It is our responsibility to enforce policies and regulations and keep the training safe."

For many MPs, said Johnson, who has 16 years experience as a MP, this is the first time encountering a real-world situation.

Soldiers of the 382nd performed a variety of missions during their collaboration with FHL police: checking identification cards and trip tickets at entry control points, enforcing law and order, setting up random speed trap locations and managing day and night patrols.

“It’s a little nerve-racking at first but then you get the hang of it. I’m just glad that we have experienced MP’s to provide guidance and learn from them,” said Spc. Dalton Potts, a MP with 382nd. Potts helped check incoming vehicles at an entry control point on the installation.

The hard work of these MPs proved to be invaluable during a recent eradication of a record $16.5 million worth of marijuana by the FHL police. A team of MPs from the 382nd was tasked to provide overnight security of the marijuana plants.

Before coming to FHL, Soldiers completed training modules to enrich their performance for real-world scenarios and to receive their law enforcement certification.

The two-week annual training at FHL was the final piece to complete their certifications.

Every year, Soldiers must re-certify to keep up with new or amended law and regulations according to Sgt. 1st Class Mark Grasso, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge of the 382nd.

Grasso praised the hard work and dedication of his two staff sergeants, who provided the required training requirements and mentorship for the certification and current task; they also supervised junior Soldiers during the two-week annual training. Staff Sgt. David Bruner and Staff Sgt. Ivan Perez played a vital role in training the detachment for this law and order mission, he said.

“We tried our best to simulate real-world scenarios when the time came.” said Grasso.

“It’s a huge responsibility that some of these young Soldiers are being asked to perform. This is where they get the training," he said.