News: 382nd Military Police Battalion coordinates joint-operation training
Story by Spc. Amber Hoy
RAPID CITY, S.D. - An armored personnel carrier comes to a screeching halt and soldiers pour out of the vehicle. The squad leader yells orders in Danish at his troops. This is the first hint that the Golden Coyote exercise at West Camp Rapid, Rapid City, S.D., is a little different than most extended combat training events.
The 382nd Military Police Battalion, a unit under the 412th TEC, oversaw five elements during the training exercise: the 235th, 856th, and 860th MP Companies, which are from the National Guard, as well as the 15th MP Company from Canada and a Danish Home Guard Infantry Company.
The 382nd MP BNs primary mission was to establish headquarters for all military police elements, serve as the defense operation cell and coordinate area security while conducting joint-operations training.
“This battalion is spearheading [joint operation] efforts,” said Capt. Christopher K. Lee, head of training and operations for the 382nd MP BN out of Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. “We are the only element here that has two foreign entities and a large number [of foreign allies] working under them.”
This exercise gave Reserve and National Guard Soldiers the opportunity to train with foreign allies. But integrating troops does not stop after the exercises ends; the training has real world practicality.
“The [U.S.] military and allies, as a whole, is joint,” said Lee. “If you look at everything globally, from New Horizons out of SOUTHCOM or the operations out of Africa, NORTHCOM, everything is a joint operation now. Everyone is going to take lessons learned from this and when a real world deployment comes up, we will be more comfortable working together.“
This not only simulates troops working together for a common goal but also gives the battalion a realistic command scenario for deployment.
“During deployment, my battalion headquarters would pick up other MP companies that are not apart of my peacetime training command, as well as foreign troops,“ said Lt. Col. David F. Albanese, Battalion Commander of the 382nd MP BN. “We’ve discovered there are some minor differences in terminology and [leadership] structure but [the exercises] allow soldiers to work out some of those differences in a training setting rather than deployment.“
The Danish soldiers had to have one deployment under their belt to be eligible to come to this training exercise; most were either deployed to Afghanistan or Kosovo.
“Even though we are a small country, we’ve had a large part in Afghanistan,” said Pvt. Troels Jensen, Danish Home Guard Infantry Company. “Most Americans maybe don’t know Denmark’s part [in the war] and we can show that this small European country also has high level of training.”
The region lets the battalion operate as if they were in a deployed environment with some companies over an hour away from headquarters.
“Golden Coyote itself allows us to spread out over a large region,” said Albanese. “It uses the Black Hills of South Dakota to spread the FOBs out, which is more realistic if we were deployed and it allows us to test our communication systems.”
The 382nd MP BN coordinated mission exercises that had American, Danish and Canadian troops working along side each other to conduct MP combat support training. The troops will leave Golden Coyote with knowledge on how their allies do things differently.
“I will definitely bring what I learned here back to my home unit,” said a Danish Home Guard soldier, while taking a coffee break from the lanes with fellow Danes. “Especially, what do you call it? The phases when you learn something new…”
The other Danish soldiers piped up to help him, “Crawl, walk, run.”