News: A new marshal in town
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Far away from the mountain peaks of their home state of Montana, the military policemen of the 484th Military Police Company from the Montana National Guard stood in formation under the shadow of another mountain thousands of miles away in Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan. The 484th MP Company “Marshalls,” under the command of Capt. Fredrick Terry, will assume authority for their assigned battle space in Kandahar City, Afghanistan from the soldiers of the 561st Military Police Company (Air Assault) “Champions,” out of Fort Campbell, Ky.
The soldiers from Fort Campbell patrolled the city districts over the past year, trained and mentored hundreds of Afghan Uniformed Policemen in law enforcement operations and helped increase the Police Substation commanders’ operational capability and knowledge in security and criminal investigations.
“[They have] been tasked with projecting combat power and police mentorship in Sub-districts 1, 8 and 9, [the] Sarposa Prison and the Arghandab River Valley,” said Capt. Tony Bowers, commander of the 561st MP Company. The 561st MP soldiers have proven themselves in combat, added Bowers. The Transfer of Authority ceremony also stirred emotions about the MPs who will not be returning to Fort Campbell, Ky. “Not all of the soldiers of the 561st will be returning with us,” said Bowers. “Their memories will always remain in our hearts and minds.” Spc. Christopher Scott and Spc. Michael Roberts are among the more than 1,839 soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001.
Lt. Col. Terry M. Nihart, the commander of the 503d Military Police Battalion (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, N.C., praised the hard work and tireless efforts that led to the success of the Champions’ mission during the ceremony. “When you look back over the past year at the security situation in Central and Northern Kandahar City, it is evident that there has been a tremendous improvement” said Nihart. “This remarkable progress can be directly attributed to the tireless efforts of the 561st MP Company.”
As the 503d MP Bn. (Abn.) bids farewell to the Champions, they welcome the Soldiers of the 484th MP Company who will have the responsibility of working and mentoring the AUP as NATO looks to end combat operations in 2014. “The Great State of Montana has sent us some of its finest Americans to continue the mission of police professionalization in Kandahar City,’ said Nihart.
The 484th MP Company commander, Capt. Fredrick Terry, added that his soldiers were ready for the challenges that lie ahead. “My Marshalls are ready to pick up where the Champions left off working with the leaders and citizens of sub-district 9,” said Terry.
There will be many challenges that will be present as the Marshalls assume responsibility around their assigned sub-districts in Kandahar City. With their training and resolve, they will continue to partner and mentor the Afghan Uniformed Police in their sub-district to help improve the security and the lives of the Afghan people who live and work in their neighborhood.