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NEWS | June 20, 2016

Military police develop skills in major combined training exercise

By Spc. Victoria Friend 200th Military Police Command

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. — Soldiers from multiple U.S. Army Reserve military police units participated in the second Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) of the year at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif., through most of the month of June. The CSTX included 54 units from across the U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Active Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and the Canadian Army. 

Throughout the training the 84th Training Command helped sustain the Operational Reserve by providing realistic and relevant collective training. The units were trained and then assessed to identify their strengths and weaknesses. A group of military mentors known as “observer, coach, trainers” (OC/Ts) assessed the Soldiers, providing advice on best practices to improve their overall organizational readiness.

“[The MPs operations] are going smooth,” said Staff Sgt. Freddie Jackson, an OC/T with the 84th Training Command.

The main focus for the 812th Military Police Company, headquartered in Orangeburg, New York, was working on detainee operations. They used this training to prepare for potential deployments. Soldiers went through the crawl, walk and run phases during CSTX. The OC/Ts worked with each unit training them on their specific jobs and working with them to ensure Soldiers were prepared for combat.

Pfc. Eddy Tineo, a military police Soldier with the 812th MP Co., said, “I actually didn’t know much about [the procedures]. Now I actually know pretty much about all the detainee procedures.”

Soldiers who have deployed in the past brought their experience to train Soldiers who haven’t deployed yet.

“It’s good to teach all the guys that have never done detainee operations how to properly do the mission we are about to do,” said Spc. Anthony Borella, a military police Soldier with the 812th MP Co. “At least they learn here and not over there.”

The 341st Military Police Company, out of Mountain View, California, was also participating in the CSTX. They came to this training composed of not only Soldiers from their unit but also Soldiers from 324th MP Co., of Fresno, California, and the 422nd MP Co., of Bakersfield, California. All of those MP units belong to the 200th Military Police Command, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, and responsible for more than 13,000 Soldiers across the U.S.

“They had to adapt and trust people they had never met before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tony Reyna, a military police Soldier in the 422nd MP Co.

Flexibility is key in accomplishing the mission. Soldiers who can adapt and overcome issues are can be more successful in combat.

“The amount of flexibility we had to have for this mission was really high,” said Spc. Cornelius Diamond, an internment specialist in the 324th MP Co. “Everybody helped each other out really well.”

Military police work together to capture and control high target individuals.

“[MPs] have a critical role when it comes to keeping the enemy combatants off the field,” said 1st Lt. Shanna McKinnon, a military police officer in the 812th MP Co. “As a whole, the MPs are doing really well out here. We are doing our jobs. We are doing exactly what we are meant to do.”