Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing


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HMH-465 conducts troop transport


Traffic Collision Investigation Course makes final stop at MCAS Miramar


Story by Cpl. Christopher Johns

Traffic Collision Investigation Course makes final stop at MCAS Miramar MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Marine Corps civilian police and military police from throughout Marine Corps Installations West are taking part in a Traffic Collision Investigation Course aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Sept. 8-30.

The course is designed to teach students proper procedures when investigating a car’s minimum speed, to the nearest one-hundredth of a mile per hour. It also teaches them to use the evidence, such as statements and other physical evidence, to figure out what happened.

This is the third successive course and the final one to be held in the Marine Corps. The course began in Okinawa on Camp Foster, and then moved to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., before making its final stop here. Each course welcomed 25 Service members from Marine Corps installations throughout the region.

During the course, the students learn to observe the evidence by drawing diagrams and sketches of the scene and using the information they collect. Instructors also teach about important factors that could play in an accident like drug and alcohol use.

Students also learn the legal aspects of investigating and what they can advise the commanding officer on in accordance with the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

“This course is designed to give the driver the benefit of the doubt,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class John Martinez, the oncoming course chief with 343rd Training Squadron out of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. “Let’s say a [pizza] delivery guy was driving down the road. If he was to get into an accident and his rooftop sign were to fly off, using our investigative skills and our [mathematic] formulas we can identify, at the minimum, how fast he was going. Then we can use that information to help build our case.”

This training is entirely new to participants in the course, most of whom would only act as first responders to the scene of an accident.

“If I were on patrol or something of that nature, I wouldn’t usually respond to a major accident like I would a minor one,” said Officer Raphael Montague, a military police officer with the air station’s Provost Marshal’s Office. “I would do the initial assessment, seeing if anyone was injured or not, then I would wait for the Traffic Management and Investigative Division to come and respond. With this training, I would have the knowledge required to conduct investigations on both major and minor accidents.”

For such a short course, it is actually challenging, explained Gunnery Sgt. Antonio Lopez, outgoing course chief with the training squadron.

“In a class of 25 Service members, we typically drop about five,” said Lopez. “The course is very fast paced. If you can’t get abreast of the math and formulas, you’ll fail.”

Some of the students are excited at the chance to learn something new despite the difficulty of the course.

“It’s more challenging than all of the other courses I’ve done because of the math, but it’s still really cool,” said Montague. “I did a college math class recently, so it’s really cool to see a practical application for math I thought I might never actually do. I understand the application of it now, whereas you just solve problems in class.”

The 17-day course equates to 136 hours of class time and seven college credits students receive upon completion of the course. The class is scheduled to graduate and receive their certifications on Sept. 30.

Recent Publications

Flight Jacket  - 07.01.2013
Flight Jacket - 07.01.2013
July 2013 edition of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Flight Jacket.
Flight Jacket  - 06.03.2013
Flight Jacket - 06.03.2013
June 2013 edition of the MCAS Miramar Flight Jacket
Flight Jacket  - 05.06.2013
Flight Jacket - 05.06.2013
May 6th edition of the Flight Jacket
Flight Jacket  - 04.01.2013
Flight Jacket - 04.01.2013
April 2013 edition of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Flight Jacket
Flight Jacket  - 03.04.2013
Flight Jacket - 03.04.2013
March, 2013 edition of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Flight Jacket.
Flight Jacket  - 02.04.2013
Flight Jacket - 02.04.2013
February 2013 edition of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Flight Jacket


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