News: North Carolina’s 105th Military Police Battalion holds site security qualification event
Story by Sgt. Brian Godette
RAPID CITY, S.D. — North Carolina National Guard Soldiers with the 105th Military Police Battalion applied full efforts and training techniques to a military exercise June 14 at Black Hills Power’s Ben French Power Plant. The training event, coordinated through the South Dakota National Guard and local civilian authorities, allowed the unit to validate its emergency-response ability.
North Carolina National Guard Military Police Soldiers, including those with the 105th, have been conducting various training scenarios in South Dakota as part of the joint Golden Coyote training exercise, which incorporates domestic military assets with civilian emergency-response agencies. Local civilian organizations, such as Black Hills Power, support the training with facilities and expertise.
The day’s training mission gave the Soldiers an opportunity to secure and protect a large, high-priority site.
“The National Guard mission here is to provide security for critical infrastructure and we are in a position where we have critical infrastructure, and it provided a great opportunity to us to partner and provide that real-world scenario for the National Guard,” said Vance Crocker, Black Hills Power’s vice president of operations.
The 48-hour military exercise at the power plant commenced June 13 before sunrise as the 105th's A Company took places on the compound. Equipped with Humvees, tactical gear and communications equipment, the Soldiers set up security perimeters and entry-control checkpoints throughout the facility.
“We’re training on an actual live site, which is something that a lot of the Soldiers haven’t seen or done before,” said Sgt. Cory Freeman, a team leader with A Company.
Designated observation control officers reviewed the battalion’s techniques, procedures and team-work during the exercise.
“Actually being able to put boots on the ground, move around in actual facilities, learn how to work different checkpoint gates, and use different items and equipment is great for the Soldiers because if the time ever comes that we are called they won’t be flustered,” Freeman said. “They’ll have the hands-on training and experience from this event to be much more confident in themselves to conduct the mission.”
The opportunity to train and evaluate their skills and techniques at the power plant is not only a benefit for the participating Soldiers, but for the employees of Black Hills Power as well.
“It couldn’t be a better partnership,” Crocker said. “Although it was primarily for the National Guard and their real-world scenario, it is very much a real-world scenario for us as well and it’s allowed us to validate many of our security policies and procedures.”
Throughout the day, the Military Police Soldiers conducted perimeter and entry control, roving patrols in Humvees, response to peaceful and violent protestors, detention of unauthorized personnel, media interactions, and response to improvised explosive attacks. Through changing weather conditions, the operations were manned in 12-hour rotations between two companies of approximately 150 Soldiers each.
“The conditions made it a better experience, and helped to teach us to drive through it and not let it deter you, because you can’t change the situation but you can change your perception,” said Sgt. Dominique Hicks, another team leader assigned to A Company.
The training proved to be a great learning experience for all those involved and highlighted the cohesion and joint state cooperation between the North Carolina National Guard, South Dakota National Guard, Black Hills Power and local authorities.
“We hope that this partnership will continue on in the future,” Crocker said.
This work, North Carolina’s 105th Military Police Battalion holds site security qualification event, by SGT Brian Godette, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.