News: Riot control training
Story by Pfc. Brianne Roudebush
FAIRFIELD, Calif. – Alpha Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, Regional Support Command North, California State Military Reserve, taught a crowd control class in Fairfield, Calif., to the 69th Public Affairs Detachment and to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 49th Military Police Brigade, March 2.
Many of the CSMR instructors are full-time law enforcement officers experienced with riot control procedures and equipment.
“The CSMRs are very knowledgeable and gave good instructions and examples. I felt that I could actually relate to what they were saying,” said Pfc. Brandon Souza with the communications department at HHC.
The training was split into three sections: baton instruction, shield instruction and riot simulations.
The soldiers learned different ways to legally block and strike using batons. They also learned how to properly hold a shield and how to stand and march in formation for maximum protection.
“I really liked using the shields and being able to move as a unit – it just felt powerful,” Souza said.
For the final part of the training, the soldiers put on full riot gear – helmet, face mask, gloves, elbow and leg pads, batons and shields. The CSMRs, dressed as rioters, threw bottles and attacked the shields while the soldiers used the techniques they had just learned to try to clear the area.
“It made me think about the real danger and possibilities and threats,” said Spc. Ericka Jones from the HHC personnel office. “This was just training and it was so hard so I can’t imagine how it would be if real people were actually rioting and coming at us.”
“I think it went really well and that people learned something,” said 1st Lt. Neil Wu, a CSMR operations officer present at the training event.
Wu said the purpose of the training was to introduce the soldiers to the equipment and skills so that if they ever do get called to assist with riot control, they will have a solid foundation to work with.
“Participation was high and everyone was working together,” Wu said. “We wanted to mix the units and shops so that everyone would learn to work as a team because the Army is a team.”