News: New York Army National Guard's 104th MP Battalion Certified to Operation on Fort Drum
Story by Eric Durr
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - More than 100 New York Army National Guard MPs from the 104th Military Police Battalion are now certified to enforce the law on post here after 12 days of tough, intensive training during their Aug. 3-14 AT period here.
Soldiers of HHD 104th MP Battalion, and the 107th and 442nd MP companies combined classroom instruction and practical exercises in a variety of subjects including military law, felony traffic stops, emergency vehicle operations, dealing with domestic disputes, active shooter actions and processing offenders to hone their skills. It was the largest law enforcement certification exercise ever conducted by New York National Guard MPs.
Training culminated with a three-day law enforcement exercise in which the MP Soldiers took what they learned and put it to work in training scenarios. These included responding to an active shooter, handling a sexual assault case, processing a crime scene and dealing with domestic disturbances and driving under the influence.
“It has been a very successful annual training across the board. Soldiers continued to develop and hone their critical policing and investigation skills during the law enforcement certification,” said 104th MP Battalion Command Sgt. Major Scott Smilinich, “The abilities of our Soldiers and the qualities they display are dependent on their training, and for this AT, the training they received was top-notch.”
All reserve component MPs are required to be able to conduct law and order operations as a key task. But with repeated deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq since Sept. 2001, New York National Guard MP units have been focused mainly on security missions and training local law enforcement.
This AT gave the 104th MPs a chance to revisit the law enforcement skill.
The battalion staff put together a training team from within the unit, the Active Army’s 91st MP Battalion and the Fort Drum Directorate of Emergency Services to make it happen.
. “It was an 18 month process from start to finish and the entire staff stepped up their game to pull it off. It was a true team effort – from the staff that developed, planned, and coordinated the training event to the Soldiers that took part in it. I couldn’t be more proud of the Battalion as a whole, “said Major Matthew Schaffer, the 104th MP Battalion operations officer.
Originally, the AT was going to be conducted at the Camp Smith Training Site, but, after further analysis, the decision was made to move the certification to Fort Drum.
Facilities and training areas at Fort Drum were much better suited for the training that needed to be done, Schaffer said. Training at Fort Drum also allowed the Battalion to access instructors from the 91st MP Battalion and Fort Drum personnel, building on relationships the battalion has developed with those units, he added.
During the final law enforcement exercise Military Police Regimental Command Sergeant Major John F. McNierney visited the troops and talked about the MP mission and training.
“What is it you need from us?” McNierney asked . “More training like this,” one Soldier responded.
Story by Lt. Col. Craig Maceri, 104th Military Police Battalion