News: 4th LEB Controls the Crowd with annual training
Story by Lance Cpl. Seth Starr
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines from 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve, out of Minneapolis, Minn., recently held annual training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Calif., Aug., 6, 2014.
Military Police Support Company, 4th LEB, trained in riot control, both lethal and non-lethal weapons and detainee handling. The focus of the event was placed on controlling a riot with formations by use of non-lethal weapons and riot shields.
Marines from 4th LEB acting as an angry mob gave each other the chance to train and be on the receiving end of physical harassment, pepper spray, baton strikes and thrown rocks to simulate the realities of an angry crowd.
Corporal John Leier, a squad leader with 3rd Platoon, 4th LEB said there’s a reason behind the harsh training methods the Marines endure.
“Our job is to maintain order, “ he said. “We practice and train to these extremes because situations in a real chaotic environment aren’t going to wait for you to figure things out. I think the biggest thing is realizing how serious and out-of-hand a riot can get.”
Using their fellow Marines as mock aggressive protesters, the use of compliance techniques, ground fighting and hand-to-hand combat, were used along-side non-lethal weapons to deter and disperse the deceptively raging crowd.
Marines also participated in level two OC training by wiping the riot control chemical across their faces to familiarize themselves with the effects of the very potent and effective non-lethal weapon.
“When we conduct riot control, we’ll sometimes spray over the top of our shielded lines as a defensive measure toward a surging crowd,” said Leier. “We need to know what it feels like so that it’s not a shock when we come into contact with someone we’re trying to detain that may have been hit with the spray.”
Staff Sgt. Ryan Pomroy, a platoon sergeant with 4th LEB, said that training of this type is excellent, not only for his Marines, but for other militaries that the battalion has worked with.
“We’ve been to countries like Morocco and South Africa and have been fortunate enough to be able to train their police forces with training just like this,” said Pomroy. “We train their men and women on the importance of riot control, snatch teams and baton techniques.”
In a deployed environment, the Marines from 4th LEB are used in support to host countries as instructors and not enforcers, Pomroy added.
“We’re a relatively young battalion and it’s important to train our junior Marines to be able to pass along this knowledge for the sake of our unit’s future.”