News: First drill weekend is all about community for MP unit
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Walter Van Ochten
ONEIDA, Tenn. – As airplanes from the nearby air show flew over head Tennessee National Guard soldiers talk with folks from Oneida about their equipment and weapons that were on display outside of their armory. Soldiers of Detachment 1, 252nd Military Police Company held an open house for the local community at their armory in Oneida, Tenn., September 2012.
The unit had moved recently moved from Louisville to Oneida and spent their first drill weekend here moving in to the armory and interacting with the local community.
“We had an open house to welcome in the community and let them meet the soldiers. For our first drill here it was a great integration with the community. This is a proud community that supports their troops,” said Staff Sgt. Buddy E. McCartt, unit readiness non-commissioned officer.
“The main reason we moved up here is that when we have natural disasters they want us more reliable, more mobilization ready, and more self-sustaining. To have our own armory lets us be up and running reacting to any natural disaster that might happen. We have vehicles that can go through all kinds of terrain and our soldiers are law and order certified. We would be able to go out and provide security, stop looters, do search and rescue missions and help out around the community,” said 1st Lt. Aaron T. Romano, Detachment 1, 252nd Military Police Company, platoon leader.
To show off the unit’s capabilities they set up a display of their armored security vehicles, humvees, most of their weapon systems and both day and night binoculars. Furthermore, they had requested a OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter which they could call for in case of an emergency.
“This gives us a chance to show off our value to the community. They get to see what the stuff we have is like” said Sgt. Tyler Bate, a team chief who hails from Maysville.
The open house and display was scheduled for the same day as the 9th annual Wings Over the Big South Fork Air and Car Show being held at the Scott County Airport next door to the armory.
“I really didn’t know the armory was here. I knew there was going to be a display and my son was more excited about seeing the soldiers and their equipment then the stuff at the airshow. We support our military all the way and are glad they are here” said Shondan Lewallen of Oneida.