News Icon

News: Training of the Guards: Newcomers train through scenarios to ensure standards at GTMO

Story by Sgt. Cassandra MonroeSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Training of the Guards: GTMO MPs ensure standards with training Sgt. Cassandra Monroe

Older detention cells, the same ones used years ago to house the first wave of detainees moving from Camp X-ray, were used by new soldiers with the Joint Task Force-Guantanamo guard force to train up on scenarios they could be faced with while working in the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Cassandra Monroe, 120th Public Affairs Detachment, JTF-GTMO Public Affairs)

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - Behavioral Science Consultation Team assists newcomers through realistic scenarios, ensuring strength through the ranks of the guards at Guantanamo Bay's detention facilities.

Loud bangs upon metallic gates, mumbled whispers and shouting echoed through a long walkway containing old detention cells.

“I need more water!” shouts one disdainful voice. “Do you see how hot it is, c’mon, more water?”

Another voice, this one laced with sarcasm, chimes in.

“Oh, you’re new! You’re new here!”

Guards donning a splash-resistant face shield paced up and down the hallway, ignoring the yelling as they peered into the cells. Each cell, painted sea foam green with a black stripe and a heavy gate, contained a metal block representing a bed, a water fountain and grounded toilet. One guard stops at a cell to check on its inhabitant and is suddenly caught off guard by a splash to the face, forcing him to leave the environment as other cell inhabitants cackle with laughter.

Thankfully for the guard, the questionable liquid he was splashed with was only water, and the cell inhabitants, only fellow Soldiers playing the role of disgruntled detainees. However, the situation is all too real for detention facility guards stationed at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The particular guards in this scenario went through a training exercise in preparation for their upcoming duties where they will be faced with many challenges.

The realistic training was facilitated by the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, a group that works with incoming Troopers who will have daily interactions with detainees held at the facilities. The new-to-the-island Guardsmen started with an extensive and informative slideshow detailing detainee interactions, and what to expect from their jobs. They learned how little actions could speak louder than words, and were reminded to incorporate their basic Army values when interacting with the detainees in the facilities. The later portion of the training put them in a true-to-life situation and prepared them for what they may face.

“There are a bunch of components we use as the BSCT,” said Army Sgt. Christopher Egan, the BSCT noncommissioned officer in charge. “We show them how to look at themselves, their values, how they interact with other individuals. Having good interpersonal communications skills can make your job a lot easier.

“This training was to give the new guards a taste of what it will be like and I think what they get the most out of is getting the experience in a safer environment,” Egan, a Fort Bragg, N.C., native, continued. “If they get confused or do not understand what is going on, it’s easier for them to react here.”

For Army 2nd Lt. Thelma Teal, the area officer in charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 525th Military Police Battalion, the training helped her grow as a leader by showing her how quickly situations requiring her involvement can arise.

“I have to be ready and I have to know the Standard Operating Procedures,” Teal, a Woodland, Texas, native, said. “SOPs are very important here especially because there’s certain ways to react to detainees. I have to know what actions to take once these incidents occur, and make sure that I choose decisions wisely and that I make them in a timely manner before any other issues arise.”

The purpose of the SOPs is to provide a safe and humane standard for these military policemen to follow when interacting with detainees. The SOPs also include standards for the guards to protect themselves from any harm. For Teal, safety is of upmost importance for her team members and the detainees.

“There are always procedures we can take to make it easier for them,” she said. “In the end we just have to follow them because it’s going to protect the soldiers from anything the detainees try to do.”

For Army Staff Sgt. Michael Chesney, the most unforgettable part of the training for him was getting splashed. He said that after taking his eyes off the cell inhabitant for one second and getting splashed took him off guard but was a beneficial part of the learning process.

“It’s good to have that type of experience on knowing how you’re going to take it and how you’re going to respond to it,” said Chesney, military police with 189th Military Police Company and a San Bernardino, Calif., native. “This put a realistic spin on what could possibly happen.”


Connected Media
ImagesTraining of the...
Army Staff Sgt. Michael Chesney, military police with...
ImagesTraining of the...
A new guard answers questions from a detainee-role...
ImagesTraining of the...
Army Staff Sgt. Michael Chesney, military police with...
ImagesTraining of the...
A soldier holds a splash-resistant mask during a...
ImagesTraining of the...
Older detention cells, the same ones used years ago to...


Web Views
53
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Training of the Guards: Newcomers train through scenarios to ensure standards at GTMO, by SGT Cassandra Monroe, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.19.2013

Date Posted:12.10.2013 15:40

Location:U.S. NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, CU

Hometown:FORT BRAGG, NC, US

Hometown:SAN BERNARDINO, CA, US

Hometown:WOODLAND, TX, US

More Like This

  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Van Poots, the Joint Task Force Guantanamo deputy Inspector General, speaks to incoming JTF service members during a newcomer's briefing at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Nov. 6.
  • For more than 60 years, personalities have come, personalities have gone. The call letters are now different and the station has seen several format changes as it works to keep pace with its ever-changing audience. But through the years, one thing has never changed at Radio GTMO: day-in, day-out the DJs of the station are on-hand ensuring music, information and plenty of everything in between gets out over the airwaves and is heard by the Guantanamo Bay community.
  • Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is the oldest overseas U.S. Naval base, the only base located in a country with which the U.S. does not maintain diplomatic relations, and is home to the Joint Task Force Guantanamo detention facility. All this information is easily found on the Internet, but there is another side to GTMO that is not as easily found by typing "Guantanamo Bay" into a search engine: The base is also a wildlife refuge, providing protection for a variety of fluffy and scaly creatures that do not have the chance to flourish on the rest of the island.
  • Army Sgt. Harry Schwarz, a training non-commissioned officer with Joint Task Force Guantanamo's 189th Military Police Company, reenlisted underwater at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Oct. 30.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr