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NEWS | Oct. 19, 2016

305th EFD, 785th MPs handle critical missions

By Ismael Ortega Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

Soldiers attached to the 305th Engineer Facility Detachment and the 785th Military Police Battalion, both Army Reserve units, deployed to U.S. Central Command from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group here, Oct. 3, for unit-specific missions. The military police will be in charge of the Theater Field Confinement facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, while the engineering detachment will work as the Department of Public Works in Iraq.

The 785th MP Bn., from Fraser, Michigan, is responsible for and will hold U.S. service members and civilian personnel operating out of CENTCOM accountable if they break the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Unit members will also escort those who require a trial stateside.

This will be the first time the 785th MP Bn. has supported such missions, but they have a handpicked team with the knowledge and experience to face the challenge head on.

“It’s only (a platoon-sized element) so it’s really close and it feels like everyone’s a family. You get to know people more one-on-one rather than when you’re in a company,” said Spc. Danielle Turner, Guard Force, 785th MP Bn. “It seems that everyone has each other’s back and everybody looks out for each other.”

The 305th EFD from Staten Island, New York, is supporting a mission they haven’t performed before, but they have trained for more than a year with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use their assortment of horizontal and vertical skill sets to upkeep the facilities throughout CENTCOM.

 “With the buildup of troops in the Middle East, it is important to make sure the facilities to spring board troops into combat missions are adequate both for their training preparations and also to allow the Soldiers to decompress when they’re out of harm’s way,” said Maj. Aaron Combs, officer in charge, 305th EFD.

Although departing on different missions, each Soldier demonstrated a similar mindset for the training with positive morale. Both units sought out experts in their field to ensure the best possible training – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the 305th EFD and the Military Correction Complex, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for the 785th MP Bn. Both units used their annual training to work in a similar environment they are going to handle overseas.

“When you’re dealing with a operation this high profile, it doesn’t matter if you’re (private) or (major), your professionalism, how you carry yourself and that confidence is invaluable … It is going to change the way people deal with you,” Combs said.