ZABUL, Afghanistan- Military Police officers from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment took full advantage of modern technology during their deployment to Zabul province, Afghanistan. The Dragoons have the honor of having the first MP platoon to ever field the Land Warrior System in combat.
The Land Warrior system is a self contained computer which is integrated into the body armor worn by soldiers. The system allows ground forces to see digital overlays, maps, photographs and access UAV transmissions all through a small monitor attached to their helmets. It also allows squad leaders to track the position of each member of his unit by using a global positioning satellite signal. Land Warrior gives each soldier in the field access to pertinent information which assists them in completing the mission.
According to 1st Lt. Joshua Frye, former MP Platoon Leader, the mission of the 2SCR MPs was very diverse. Each MP squad worked alongside their counterparts from the Afghan National Police. The Dragoons acted as mentors toward the ANP sharing different procedures used within the law enforcement profession.
“We had every kind of mission set you can think of,” Frye said. “From long range convoy escorts to taxi missions, there were a lot of places that coalition and ANP haven’t visited to for a long time.”
For the MPs dismounted patrols became a critical part of their overall mission.
“We had a lot of assignments in the urban core of Qalat City and some of the outlying areas that you can’t get to by vehicle,” Frye explained. “Being on the ground, dismounted allowed us to really connect with the population.”
It was on these dismounted patrols during night missions said that Land Warrior became a vital asset to Frye’s squad.
“One squad had everybody outfitted with the system,” Frye said. “You could look at a map on your screen and instantly tell where everybody was, so navigation was greatly aided.” He also mentioned that while they had paper maps, they never had to use them. “It could be pitch black out and you could look at your display and instantly know where everybody was located,” said Frye.
In addition to squad leaders being able to track each soldier within the patrol, the system provided a live feed to the unit’s Tactical Operations Center. This allowed the TOC to better communicate and direct the Soldiers in the field. According to Frye, the system greatly increased his soldier’s situational awareness.
Currently the system adds about 10 additional pounds to the heavy load of protective equipment worn by soldiers during combat. However, the system is constantly being refined and streamlined to better fulfill the needs of all soldiers.
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This work, Land Warrior turns Dragoon MPs into Robo Cops, by SGT Gerald Wilson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.