News: 95th MP Battalion conducts PLE, refines police skills
Story by Staff Sgt. Christina Turnipseed
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Soldiers of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade gathered at Smith Barracks for the first 95th MP Battalion's Professional Law Enforcement Exercise, Sept. 9-13.
Soldiers from Sembach, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Baumholder, in
Germany and Camp Darby, Italy participated in the exercise. The command planned and executed the PLE because law enforcement skills are the highest priority for the unit. According to Lt. Col. James Walker II, 95th MP Battalion commander and a native of Boonville, Ind., law enforcement is the 95th’s primary role in Germany.
Walker described his unit’s role as, “Providing professional law enforcement across the theater and across all garrisons in Europe.”
“Due to the financial constraints and the changing environment in which we deploy, our priority role is policing,” he added. “So we need to make sure all of our soldiers are fully-trained and skilled to be able to accomplish their mission.”
The PLE provided realistic law enforcement training to prepare MPs to face situations typically encountered while policing, including felony traffic stops, domestic disturbances, active shooter scenarios, safe vehicle operation, firing under stress, barracks disturbances and shoot/no-shoot scenarios.
According to Maj. Richard Stearns, 95th MP Battalion operations officer in charge and native of Madison, S.D., the companies subordinate to the 95th train on a regular basis and are tested for certification. However, the PLE had a different purpose.
"The goal of this exercise is to teach rather than certify. It also allows us as battalion trainers to look at the companies and see where everybody is,” Stearns said.
The MPs tested found the various stations to be challenging and even enjoyable.
“The most challenging part of the PLE was the active shooter portion. It was just a hard scenario, where there were a lot of people and it was just something that I didn't have a lot of practice on,” said Pfc. Bobbijo Hartig assigned to the 95th MP Battalion and a native of Longmont, Colo.
“Active shooter” requires MPs to go into dimly lit buildings with loud music, screams and sirens blaring, while engaging assailants who are firing at them with paint filled modified ammo.
Spc. Martin Mullings of the 529th MP Company, and a native of Benicia, Calif., enjoyed vehicle familiarization the most.
The reason this is important, he said, “That's what we do. We drive all the time, so learning how to drive in reverse and taking corners a little bit faster means we don't get into accidents all the time.”
Some MPs could not decide which part they enjoyed the most.
“It's kind of a tie between the EST [shoot/no shoot] and vehicle familiarization,” said Pfc. Austin Birdwell of the 529th MP Company, a native of Willis, Texas. “Those were the most challenging for me and the most fun as well.”
The PLE included role players, instructors, after action reviews, props and equipment to provide MPs with the tools necessary to train for real life on the streets.
Staff Sgt. Chad Theriauot, noncommissioned officer in charge of the EST- shoot/ don't shoot portion and a native of Tampa, Fla., summed up the desired outcome of his section and the PLE.
“It's a realistic environment that we try and produce so that what they do in here they can translate out there,” he said, adding that they could “face shoot/don't shoot scenarios every time they go out on the road.”
Date Posted:09.20.2013 04:47
Location:BAUMHOLDER, RP, DE
Hometown:BENICIA, CA, US
Hometown:BOONVILLE, IN, US
Hometown:LONGMONT, CO, US
Hometown:MADISON, SD, US
Hometown:TAMPA, FL, US
Hometown:WILLIS, TX, US