News: Marathon security takes a team
Story by Sgt. Barry St. Clair
FORT BRAGG, N. C. – Soldiers from units across Fort Bragg partnered with Provost Marshall’s Office and Department of Emergency Services to assist, protect, and defend the public during the inaugural All-American Marathon and Mike to Mike Half-Marathon, May 4.
“Military police Soldiers perform at the highest levels of skill and professionalism during the everyday execution of their law enforcement duties,” said Capt Kurt H. Boehm, commander of 108th MP Co. “They understand their critical role in the protection of Fort Bragg's Soldiers, families, and civilians.”
Law enforcement is day to day business at Fort Bragg for military police including K9 units. Their constant training and certification from prepares them to shine during large scale events such as the Mike to Mike Marathon, high visibility visits, and events where the public is invited to Fort Bragg.
“Safe execution of three simultaneous races covering multiple routes and two jurisdictions required a herculean effort by multiple agencies, units, staffs and directorates from both Fort Bragg and the City of Fayetteville, said Maj. Kevin R. Pugh, chief of operations for the PMO. “The 108th MP Company was the backbone of the security plan and made an enormous contribution to the safety of the event.”
The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade provided a UH-60 helicopter which gave law enforcement real time updates on the progress of the runners along the routes during the three simultaneous race events.
Sgt. Josh Arbach of Haiti, S.D. assigned to 108th MP Co., as a military police officer set up a traffic control point at the intersection of All American Freeway and Gruber Road where the full and half marathon runner routes separated.
“We are providing support for the All American Marathon, half marathon and five-k run,” said Arbach. “We are setting up road blocks, providing route security (for the runners) to keep everyone safe during the event.”
The energy is focused on the finish line in any race, and the Mike to Mike event was no different. The parade field was cordoned off where venders and sponsors were set up to display a variety of marketplace wares. There were checkpoints and screenings to ensure people were not bringing weapons or alcohol onto the grounds.
Sgt. Rebecca C. Mendoza of San Diego, a military police officer assigned to 42nd MP Det. screened bags for weapons and glass containers while Soldiers assigned to 30th Engineer Brigade, Fort Bragg were trained on metal detection scanning and personal search and supported the MPs at the access control points to the post parade field.
“I have always wanted to be a police officer,” said Mendoza. “My aunt is a police officer in San Diego, and I have always looked up to her.”