Sgt. Michael K. Selvage
10th Sustainment Brigade Journalist
The 511th Military Police Company completed an 11-day training exercise Thursday to better prepare for a possible deployment to Afghanistan.
During the combat-centric training, approximately 110 Soldiers performed everything from perimeter patrols and dismounted patrol missions to base defense operations and manning guard towers with simulated members of the Afghan National Security Forces to help prepare them for issues they might encounter while deployed.
At one moment of the training, a simulated ANSF soldier had a negligent discharge while in a guard tower. The Soldiers in the tower with the ANSF soldier quickly responded by following the unit’s tactics, techniques and procedures to defuse the situation.
“I think they are right on track,” said Col. Alex Conyers, 16th Military Police Brigade commander. “Everything rises and falls on leadership. These leaders know that my expectations of them are to provide great leadership.”
Soldiers also performed key leader engagements – meetings set up with local elders and tribal leaders to gather information or to influence behavior.
The meetings were used to help advance the Soldiers’ capabilities for potential Guardian Angel operations, which entail members of a unit providing dedicated force protection for VIPs, similar to personal security detachments, during missions when host nation personnel are present.
Reacting to indirect fire also was incorporated during the company-level exercise to keep the Soldiers from getting complacent.
Soldiers assigned to the quick reaction force – a platoon-size team that is capable of rapidly responding to situations by suppressing hostile elements or fighting until they are relieved – were tested on their response times and tactics, techniques and procedures until their duties became muscle memory.
“The best thing we have gotten out of this is that we’re not just a unit, but a team of Soldiers who have endured together and care about each other,” said Capt. Kenneth Chaplin, 511th MP Company commander. “I’m proud of the Soldiers. They stayed motivated despite the weather, the cold and long hours. They displayed resiliency and true toughness as a unit.”