News: MP company marks Guam deployment, MP award
Story by Staff Sgt. LATISHA BALLANCE
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska - The 164th Military Police Company received the prestigious Command Sgt. Maj. Mark L. Farley Award during its deployment ceremony at the Alaska National Guard Armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Jan. 23.
The 164th MP Company, 793rd Military Battalion, was also the first recipient of the award when it was established in 2009. The unit headed out for a five-month deployment to Guam to provide site security.
The award recognizes the "Best Military Police Company in the U.S. Army Pacific," and is awarded annually to the military police company that best excels in the execution of their MP duties. There are 23 MP companies in the USARPAC area of responsibility.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Farley was the first enlisted military police soldier to lead as the senior enlisted adviser for the two, three and four-star level commands, eventually retiring as the command sergeant major of U.S. Army Europe. Farley personally presented the award.
"This award means a lot to us because we are about to deactivate," said Army Lt. Col. Kirt Boston, 793rd MP Battalion commander. "The 793rd MP and the 164th MP will not be here in six months. They will be taken out of the Army force structure. So it is a nice way for the soldiers to get recognition of all the hard work they are doing."
"The award means a lot to a soldier, because it consists of all their accomplishments that they have done the last fiscal year," said Army 1st Sgt. Timothy Gipson, 164th MP first sergeant. "The soldiers have done great things to get the award; all their accomplishments were packaged together, including their internal and external training evaluation; military and civilian education; volunteerism with the community on and off the installation; and physical training."
U.S. Army Alaska commander Maj. Gen. Michael Shields also extended his congratulations to the 164th MP in a written statement Boston read.
"Receiving this award is a phenomenal accomplishment by a truly exceptional formation of soldiers," the statement read. "You are unquestionably the best MP Company in all the United States Army Pacific. This is a stellar accomplishment. When you strive for discipline and accomplishment, soldiers like you - the Arctic Warriors - are respected and admired by our friends and feared by our enemies."
After the award presentation, the 164th MP continued the deployment ceremony.
"We are deploying to Guam for a critical site-security mission to support the strategic initiative in the Pacific," said Army Capt. Matthew Porter, 164th MP commander. "Before leaving, we conducted weapons training to be proficient with our Army weapons."
Porter added the culminating training event was to secure the perimeter of their battalion operations and run 72-hour operations, simulating steady-state combat.
First-time deployer Army Pfc. Nicholas Dentremont said that in preparation for the deployment, they had to do a field exercise to get mentally and physically ready.
In addition to getting soldiers ready, the unit's family readiness group worked hand-in-hand with the 164th MP Company to prepare families for the upcoming deployment.
"With the family readiness group, we had consistent meetings where we set the family up with the appropriate agencies that can support them while everyone is deployed," Gipson said.
With the families secured and weapons training complete, the 164th MP Company will take off for Guam, displaying the professional warrior skills and overall excellence indicated by its recent honors as Command Sgt. Maj. Mark L. Farley Award winners.