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    MPs test the best of the best

    MPs test the best of the best

    Photo By Master Sgt. Andy Yoshimura | Spc. Marc Stephenson, a military police, with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 89th...... read more read more

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – As the summer comes to an end at Fort Leonard Wood, the competition heats up for 39 law enforcement Soldiers vying to become law enforcement’s best in this year’s Military Police Competitive Challenge hosted by the U.S. Army Military Police School from Sept. 21 – 23.

    The MPCC started off a week-long celebration of the Military Police Regimental Week marking the 78th birthday of the Military Police Corps on Sept. 26. Competitors participated in 23 evaluated events, including three separate road marches. 20 noncommissioned officers and 19 enlisted Soldiers started their day at 2:30 each morning and finishing their day in the afternoon to temperatures reaching the mid 80’s.

    Soldiers from across the country and those stationed in South Korea, Germany and Cuba, traveled back to where most started their military career here at Fort Leonard Wood. The competition also invited two British military policemen to compete in this year’s event.

    “The MPCC has been on and off for the last few years,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bennett, the Military Police Corps Regimental Command Sergeant Major. “As soon as I got on board this year, it was one of the first tasks that the team started on.”

    “We wanted to ensure that we had the chance for units to showcase their best Soldier and NCO at the home of the regiment,” added Bennett.

    Day one of the competition started early with the Alpha Warrior Tower. An obstacle-course like challenge similar to the popular television show American Ninja Warrior.

    “I need to work on my grip strength,” said Sgt. Vincent Bohl, a military police with the 54th Military Police Company out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Bohl, along with most of the competitors, struggled on the apparatus, which was comprised of all upper body strength.

    The morning continued with the familiarization with the M-17 Pistol and reacting to an active shooter with an officer down scenario. Most of the competitors were not accustomed to the M-17, where the U.S. Army just started fielding the weapon this year.

    “The shooting was pretty cool,” said Spc. Trevor Gibbs, an internment / resettlement specialist, with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 525th Military Police Battalion. “We did a Law Enforcement Weapon Training and Qualification, I heard of it, I have seen it, but I never actually got to go out there and do it and using the new M-17 was pretty neat.”

    The LEWTAQ is different from the standard M9 Pistol qualification where time is limited, especially drawing from a holster in 1.5 seconds and firing two shots.

    The competitors used their new M-17 pistol while reacting to an active shooter after carrying two 30-pound sandbags and pulling a 135-pound sled around the course. After knocking down the targets, the competitors applied a tourniquet to a down officer and pulled the officer on a Sked stretcher to the finish line.

    The competitors then rucked up and road marched to the final event of the day, the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, where Soldiers were evaluated on driving accuracy in a police car.

    “Something I need to learn is driving,” said Gibbs. “I am a corrections officer and I work in a prison and never drove.”

    Someone not accustomed to the American way of driving are the two British soldiers as it was their first time visiting the U.S.

    “This is the first time here in America and I can do my best over here,” said Cpl. Jordan Main, a British military police with the 110th Provost Company of the 1st Regiment Royal Military Police. “It has been really nice, we are getting along with the Americans. It’s like going to a new unit, because you don’t know anyone.”

    Main was presented the Commadant’s Coin, along with Staff Sgt. Ryan Brownfield , a military police, with the 615th Military Police Company out of Vilseck, Germany for their superior characteristics as a Soldier.

    “We have an NCO and Soldier representing the UK this year and from what I can tell, they have done extremely well so far,” said Bennett. “For next year, we are going to open the invitation out to additional countries that we have already partnered with and an invitation to the other branches of the U.S Armed Forces.

    The next day, after an 8-mile road march, competitors were evaluated during the land navigation course, tackled the Physical Endurance Course and finished the day with two written tests along with an officer shoot / don’t shoot evaluation.

    After being on their feet for 14 hours and covering over 12 miles, their sore feet and legs did not bother the competitors as their motivation kept the group going.

    For Sgt. Maria Flores Garcia, an internment / resettlement specialist, with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 15th Military Police Brigade out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, setting the example to her Soldiers is what kept her driving.

    “I wanted to keep the spirit of the Corps alive,” said Flores Garcia. “I wanted to show Soldiers that it is important for us to continue with our traditions.”

    “I can’t send my Soldiers if I am not capable in doing it myself first,” added Flores Garcia.

    The final day was comprised of the Army Combat Fitness Training and a round-robin of basic Soldier and MP skills, such as combatives, weapons assemble, first aid, fingerprinting and donning a chemical suit with protective mask.

    After completion, the competitors once again road marched to the award ceremony, where Sgt. Robelto Rose and Spc. Antonio Argueta, both with the 289th Military Police Company out of Fort Myer, Virginia were awarded the winning NCO and Soldier for the 2019 MPCC.

    With more invites to the other services, Bennett sees a promising future where units can showcase their best Soldier and NCO at the home of the regiment.

    “Each year we modify each of the events to make them even more challenging,” said Bennett. “In order to prepare effectively, a Soldier needs to be absolutely physically fit combined with the ability to solve simple and complex problems.”

    “All of these things need to be done during limited visibility, little sleep, and using only the things that are carried in your pack,” added Bennett.



    Date Taken: 09.23.2019
    Date Posted: 09.26.2019 21:39
    Story ID: 344032
    Location: US
    Hometown: FORT CAVAZOS, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT MYER, VA, US
    Hometown: FORT RILEY, KS, US

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