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NEWS | Jan. 23, 2016

88th Military Police Company comes home

By Ismael Ortega Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

FORT BLISS, Texas - With back-to-back flights arriving at the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Air Control Group, the flight operations personnel worked fast to process Soldiers assigned to 88th Military Police Company, Army Reserve, Dec. 18, 2015. The unit completed a nine-month deployment at Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba, providing external security.

Brig. Gen. Marion Garcia, deputy commander of operations, and Command Sgt. Maj. Abbe Mulhollad, G-3 sergeant major, both assigned to 200th Military Police Command, along with Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security personnel, greeted the Soldiers as they stepped off the plane.

As the wind howled, Soldiers made their way across the tarmac to turn in their weapons before heading inside the terminal for a welcome briefing. 

“I’m very proud of what my Soldiers have done,” Capt. Joel Garber, commander, 88th MP Co., said. “They did a great job.”

The unit promoted 60 Soldiers throughout the duration of their time at Guantanamo and had multiple award ceremonies. At the end, the unit had 12 individuals receive the Army Commendation Medal and 85 receive the Army Achievement Medal.

Along with the mission objective, unit goals were set to improve the Soldiers’ military careers.

“Every Soldier completed online training that’s required for the next rank,” Garber said. “Everybody improved the physical fitness scores and most Soldiers advanced in rank.”

First Sgt. Kelly L. Shackett, 88th MP Co., said it was the Soldiers’ drive and desire, along with strong leadership, that enabled them to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Leaders mentored Soldiers, giving them proper guidance and supervision throughout the training cycle and deployment.

“Individual Soldiers wouldn’t just tell (their subordinates) to go out and do these things, but would show them the proper way … making sure they don’t get injured or hurt,” Shackett said.

The unit received training at installations throughout the country to prepare for this deployment. Training at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia, Fort Pickett, Virginia, and Fort Hunter Liggett, California, sharpened their MP skills.

With the culmination of their training, they were able to establish a safe and secure environment at GITMO and provided humane care, custody and control of detainees.

“It was a good mission. We went there with high expectations,” Shackett said. “We did the mission and we did it well.”