News: 561st MP Company conduct level II combatives training
Story by Sgt. Sinthia Rosario
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Soldiers of the 561st Military Police Company, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), conducted level II combatives training March 15 at the Lozada Physical Fitness Center at Fort Campbell
The training had two primary goals; the first was to give Soldiers of the 561st advanced hand-to-hand combat techniques that they can employee if needed as they conduct their law enforcement duties. Second, it was a professional development opportunity for the participants.
“We had about 80 percent level I certified, so this is our opportunity to get those guys certified in level II and continue to build that capability within our unit,” said Capt. Tony D. Bowers, company commander for the 561st. “We have all these schools out there and its hard to get these guys into them and once we can get them in it allows you to build that capability in your unit. Your future trainers are going to be these soldiers here.”
The level II certification gives soldiers new techniques that better prepares them for law enforcement or deployed operations.
“The soldiers learn the dominate positions in level I, now in level II we start adding more tools to the soldiers basics. We give them more attacks from those dominate positions to attack their opponent, to finish the fight,” said Staff Sgt. Michael E. Carrasco, combatives instructor with Company A, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. “We also start standing them up more now, we teach them a little bit about striking, the basics of boxing, foot work, combinations and we also do a lot of blower suit in level II.”
The blower suit is a full contact suit and it allows soldiers to make full contact with their opponent to see what really works and what doesn’t work, explained Carrasco. They’ll do some scenario based training, like walking into an area and suddenly being attacked by people in blower suits.
For the younger soldiers that are just coming in and don’t have any fighting techniques whatsoever, this gives them first hand experience on how to defend themselves during various types of situations.
Sgt. Steven M. Watson, an MP in 3rd Platoon, 561st MP Company, mentioned that soldiers received plenty of self-defense training during the course, which is a valuable asset for military police. As a police officer they face dangerous situations such as approaching a vehicle, entering a house with domestic problems or even combat in a theater of war. The experience is exactly what the younger soldiers need.
“Although the training hasn’t been physically hard, it is a reality check,” said Watson. “This program incorporates more real life movements, for example you can be slapped to the face and then all of a sudden you’re jarred, you don’t know what’s going on, and you’re put in an arm-bar, so it’s more real life fighting. It incorporates the moves you already learned and adds to those moves to show you more techniques to get out of it or put someone in, as well as taking contact.”
This level is challenging for the soldiers because each move has many different options. There is more memorizing what they should be looking for. It’s harder and it takes more practice than level I combatives.
The combatives program is good for soldiers teaching them beneficial techniques they can use during any type of close combat situations and it develops the warrior ethos.
“Getting the real life factor in there, the fight to come home, cause whether I’m working the road or I’m down range my main priority is to bring my soldiers home and bring myself home to my family. So this is more training to help me prepare myself so I eliminate the enemy before the enemy eliminates me,” said Watson.