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    Training to Hold the Line

    Training to Hold the Line

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Alyson Pelletier | The civil disturbance turns violent and the 488th Military Police Company’s quick...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Alyson Pelletier 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    PLYMOUTH TRAINING AREA, PLYMOUTH, MAINE – The 488th Military Police Company, Maine Army National Guard, responded to a civil disturbance at Plymouth Training Area in Plymouth, Maine, June 2, 2018.

    The military police conducted the National Guard Reaction Force evaluation.

    MPs guarded the entrance to a conference center while peaceful protestors represented by other National Guard members, chanted, held signs, and even shook hands with some of the police.

    The MPs were operating under the rules of interaction.

    “The difference between the rules of interaction and rules of engagement is how escalated the situation becomes,” said 1st Lt. Garrett Clark, a military police officer, with the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and an evaluator for the MPs, “Rules of interaction are what the MPs can say to the protestors, and rules of engagement is what type of physical actions the MPs can take.”

    The MPs were evaluated on tasks including: being aware of cultural, political, and religious considerations to avoid inadvertently inciting the crowd, performing civil disturbance patrols, and dispersing, containing, or blocking crowds as required by the situation.

    Clark walked around with a clipboard checking off boxes as he noticed the actions of the military police to ensure they are abiding by their doctrinal training.

    Clark said he was a military police officer with the MPs before being an evaluator.

    “It’s a different perspective being on the other side,” said Clark, “The MPs, they don’t know what the mission is prior to receiving it but being part of the planning process, I see now there is so much that goes into it.”

    Clark’s experience as an MP provided him with valuable insight to help improve the training to make the exercises more realistic.

    Down the road from the protest, the CSSB set up a tactical area where they tracked all of the events unfolding to assist the MPs with any support they needed.

    “When you have so many units moving and doing various missions, you need somebody to be watching them and that’s what battalion does,” said Sgt. 1st class Jaclyn Ellis, the CSSB’s acting first sergeant.

    Maps were spread out and white boards were constantly updated tracking movements of the MPs and the protestors, while radio chatter filled the operation’s tent.

    Ellis said the role of the battalion is to constantly collect information, make changes and recommendations based on the situation, “to maximize mission success without compromising soldier and equipment safety.”

    A voice came through on the radio, informing the CSSB that the protest turned violent.

    Counter-protestors, also played by more National Guard members arrived and instigated a fight.

    The CSSB recommended to call in the quick reaction force.
    Some of the counter protesters got physical, they pushed, and they shoved, and even ripped up some of the signs from the peaceful protesters.

    The QRF, formed a line at the entrance, wearing riot gear including, shin guards and face shields.

    Some violent protestors shoved people into the line of armed MPs.

    The MPs took note of who the violent instigators were, and when they got close, the MPs absorbed the violent protestors, detained, and searched them for any contraband, or anything that could cause harm to them or others.

    In the crowed of protestors, Ellis participated in the protest.

    “It’s fun to get out of the office and see what the unit is doing,” said Ellis, “A lot of the people out here are higher raking and the MPs don’t know who they are, and even though everyone is fighting, it’s all in good fun.”

    Ellis said this is an opportunity for the MPs and the CSSB to build comradery and trust to prepare, in the event they are called in a real life situation.

    “It’s nice to see us working together copacetic and being a collective team”, said Ellis.



    Date Taken: 06.02.2018
    Date Posted: 06.12.2018 14:02
    Story ID: 280647
    Location: PLYMOUTH, ME, US 

    Web Views: 41
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    Training to Hold the Line