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NEWS | June 28, 2016

Ride the lightning

By Spc. Adam Parent 220th Public Affairs Detachment

United States Army Reserve Military Police (MP) Soldiers and Canadian MP Soldiers spent the day learning the full capabilities of the X26E Taser at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, as part of their training in exercise Guardian Justice.

The American and Canadian forces joined together to train in detainee operations and non-lethal weapons over the next three weeks.

The training was led by Sgt. 1st Class Smith with the 290th MP Brigade out of Nashville, Tennessee, one of the lead planners for exercise Guardian Justice.

The lesson began with a classroom briefing on the proper use of the X26E Taser, followed by a written test to ensure the MP Soldiers understood the non-lethal weapon’s specifications.

The X26E Taser is a weapon used to safely take down a non-compliant subject by shooting them with two barbed prongs that will deliver thousands of volts of electricity throughout their body, causing a condition called neuromuscular incapacitation.

After the written test, the Soldiers then practiced shooting the X26E Taser at cardboard targets and had to demonstrate knowledge of how to properly load, aim and shoot the weapon.

Once the instructors were confident in the student’s abilities, the class moved on to voluntary exposure so the MP Soldiers could feel the power of the X26E Taser. Smith encouraged as many Soldiers as he could to volunteer so he could introduce multiple scenarios to the class, he said.

“After doing it and knowing what it felt like, watching other people was pretty enjoyable,” said Sgt. Carl Haley with the 304th MP Battalion from Nashville, Tennessee, the first volunteer to step forward.

A common scenario would include a target being hit with only one of two barbed prongs fired from the weapon, rendering the weapon less effective to incapacitate a target. To compensate for the missing prong, Smith would quickly step forward and press the weapon onto a subject’s body to complete a successful electric circuit and incapacitate a subject.

This scenario plays out often in both training and real life, and Smith’s reaction to the situation showed students how to easily turn a missed shot into a successful takedown of a target.

Smith also demonstrated what could happen when a physically powerful subject is hit with thousands of volts of electricity pulsing through their body by shooting Leading Seamen Giancarlo Nardolillo with the 1st MP Regiment out of Edmonton, Alberta. Nardolillo not only dropped to the ground in extreme pain, he also dragged down the two spotters holding him up.

As the lesson came to a close the U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and Canadian Soldiers who had been shot with the X26E Taser walked away with grins on their faces. They not only learned valuable lessons about an essential tool in their arsenal, but they also built a camaraderie with their brothers in arms.