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NEWS | Feb. 19, 2016

200th MPs join first line of defense at JBM-HH, Arlington National Cemetery

By Arthur Mondale Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - U.S. Army Reserve military police have joined the ranks of police and security officers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Police Chief William R. Johnson II.

On Feb. 10, 21 reserve MPs from the 200th Military Police Command at Fort Meade, Md., completed 65 classroom hours and an additional 40 hours of patrol-related law enforcement training at JBM-HH.

During the law enforcement course graduation, Col. Mike Henderson, commander of JBM-HH, called the addition of these Soldiers to the current roster of joint base police and security guards a partnership that he hopes will last for months or even years to come.

“As we know the threat environment has changed and stateside it’s probably the most dangerous it has ever been since I’ve been in the Army,” said Henderson.

Henderson also stressed protecting all three portions of the joint base and Arlington National Cemetery would not be the “typical Army post” for young Soldiers. These sentiments were echoed by U.S. Army Col. William S. Wozniak, Military District of Washington provost marshal.

“I cannot think of a better place to put the law enforcement training you’ve learned over the last couple of weeks to practice,” said Wozniak.

Wozniak also referenced the effort to fill active duty shortfalls in law enforcement with reservists.

“You are the pioneers and this is going to go across the United States,” he said.

The majority of the 200th MP Command reservists reside in Pennsylvania and Maryland, according to Lt. Stacy Wilson, JBM-HH watch commander and law enforcement training officer. Some of the 200th Soldiers said they were honored to learn about the importance of their new role in the National Capital Region.

About two weeks of law enforcement training included patrolling, active-terrorist watch training, suicide response, domestic disputes, loss prevention, perimeter security, VIP security and weapons qualification.

“Just the level of policing and security I’m now tasked with here is a big responsibility, and I am honored to be a part of it,” said U.S. Army Pvt. Connor Rhodes.

The 18-year-old from Hanover, Pa., just graduated from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) last December. He said he is committed and ready to put the training he learned to practice.

“I’m still new to the whole military police MOS [military occupational specialty], but the in-tense training we received here is still very fresh in my mind and will remain there,” Rhodes said.

In March, another team of U.S. Army reservists from the 200th MP Command are expected to go through the same law enforcement training regimen, further beefing up the law enforcement effort at JBM-HH.

Wilson added that the additional law enforcement staff is critical given increased potential security threats worldwide.

“This career has become a very involved career field, due in large part to the unfortunate security threat that exists,” Wilson said.