News: Nevada National Guard train in Haiti
Story by Spc. Jessica Lopez
Nevada National Guard Soldiers of the 485th Military Police Company participated in the U.S. Army South New Horizons – Haiti 2010 Task Force Kout Men at several engineering and medical training exercise sites in the Gonaives area of Haiti from June 10 to June 26.
“Our mission is to provide security operations for the U.S. forces at the engineer construction, medical assistance and the New Horizons – Haiti encampment site,” said 1st Sgt. Steve T. Lawrence, first sergeant with the 485th MP Company.
New Horizons provides real-world training experience for service members of various branches.
“The same way the military police prepare for the mission here is going to be the same way they prepare for a mission in the battle field,” said Cpt. Bruce E. Billings, Provost Marshall of Task Force Kout Men. “The only difference is the threat level and the amount of ammo they carry.”
First Lt. Robert F. Kolvet, a platoon leader with the 485th MP Company feels the soldiers can train for a mission but not the environment or the culture. “Until you get on the ground and experience the reality you can’t understand the difference.”
Billings believes this experience teaches the soldiers interpersonal skills, how to deal with the host country police, the UN, and the domestic population.
Spc. Carolina Dealba, a MP officer, feels that everyone has learned their roles and how to work with one another. “The company definitely understands out to function operationally,” said Dealba.
This mission is also a learning experience for the company commander and first sergeant.
“The Soldiers can see how their leadership functions and takes care of them,” said Billings.
Kolvet feels the noncommissioned officers and young soldiers are ready to deploy. They have proven themselves in the way they operated during this mission.