News: 170th Military Police Detachment improves law enforcement skills, partners with Kuwaiti counterparts
Story by Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – A soldier approaches the window of his police cruiser and informs him that traffic is not observing the posted crosswalk signs on a busy stretch of road. The soldier was almost struck while walking to work.
Immediately, Sgt. Courtney Gossard, a military police officer with the 170th Military Police Detachment, dispatches one of his officers to stage near the crosswalk and look for violators. Within 15 minutes, the flash of red and blue and the whirl of a siren resonate as someone is stopped at that same crosswalk.
Routine actions like these might seem boring, but to Gossard, he and his fellow soldiers are providing a necessary service for the civilians and service members at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
“As is the case with all MPs, our main job is to assist, protect and defend. Here at Arifjan, we provide a variety of services. We assist with morale runs and unit health and welfare inspections. We protect Mission Essential Vulnerable Areas (MEVA) by ensuring no breach of security has occurred. We also do presence patrols and defend the installation from any attempted attack,” explained Gossard.
The detachment commander, 1st Lt. Wesley Moosman, expands on the unit mission and the necessity of law enforcement. “I like the phrase ‘mitigate and deter,’ if you mitigate and deter then you keep soldiers out of trouble and if you keep soldiers out of trouble, you keep mission distractions to a minimum.”
Moosman said if the camp is quiet, then his soldiers are doing their job.
Unlike in garrison, the focus is solely on law enforcement. The soldiers spend 11 hours of their 12-hour shift in their vehicles, patrolling the road. While at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., the unit splits its time between law enforcement and training.
Young MPs are given a lot of authority and responsibility, said Gossard. The deployment allows them to round-out their skills in a less hectic environment. Gossard is on his fourth deployment, his second to Kuwait, with an additional two to Afghanistan. He has filled a variety of law enforcement roles to include detainee operations, customs officer and police mentor. For him, sharing this knowledge is essential to the growth of his soldiers.
“If my soldiers go to a call or even the civilian security contractors that work with us, I like to be there. If they have any questions, I can answer them or help walk them through the process,” said Gossard. “Soldier mentoring is extremely fulfilling for me. I want to set them up for success, because I had great leadership which did the same for me. A properly trained MP is an asset to any installation.”
In addition to developing job and soldier-skills, the deployment to Kuwait provided the detachment with the chance to partner with the Kuwaiti Ministries of Defense and Interior law enforcement agencies. During Operation Slowdown on Oct. 8, detachment soldiers worked alongside Kuwaiti officers to curb excessive speeding on a local road. It was the first opportunity for soldiers stationed at Camp Arifjan to work with the Kuwaitis; although, the detachment soldiers at Camp Buehring have run similar law enforcement exchanges.
The partnership is beneficial to both parties, said Moosman.
“My senior team leaders have cooperated before in Iraq and Afghanistan with other security forces or transition teams. Many of the junior soldiers have never had those experiences before, so it’s an excellent opportunity for them,” said Moosman. “Working with a host nation, and learning their culture, and how you behave affects them – you can’t replace that training. [These operations] also show that we can work together as a team to accomplish a mission.”
He said that the detachment plans to continue cultivating that partnership throughout the remainder of their deployment and will build a strong foundation for the next MP unit.
This work, 170th Military Police Detachment improves law enforcement skills, partners with Kuwaiti counterparts, by SSG Jennifer Spradlin, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.