Fort McCoy News June 12, 2015

Guardian Justice MP exercise underway at McCoy

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

More than 1,400 Army Reserve military police (MP) are participating in the Guardian Justice exercise at Fort McCoy in June and July.

"This is one of the biggest 200th Military Police Command (MPC) internal exercises," said Capt. Joshua Frye, operations officer for the exercise with the 290th MP Brigade in Nashville, Tenn. "We are excited to be at Fort McCoy for the exercise. Last year we had a fantastic experience here, so being able to come back here and use (this installation) is great. Fort McCoy is a robust (training complex) with a lot of options, which is really something special."

Photo
Spc. David Delo and Cpl. Jasper Dampier move a tactical vehicle at Fort McCoy June 3 as part of the Guardian Justice exercise. Guardian Justice is a military-police exercise coordinated by the 200th Military Police Command.

In 2014, MP units held a smaller exercise called Guardian Warrior at the installation. This year, the exercise has grown and will include a variety of training.

"We have three rotations of MPs coming through," said Capt. Jonathan Bradley, scheduling manager for the exercise and also with the 290th MP Brigade. "The first rotation arrived June 5, and we'll continue with the remaining rotations into July. Each rotation will conduct 15 days of training in two different tracks — combat-support and detainee operations."

Among the Soldiers training in the exercise are MPs who will be deploying in the near future to support overseas detainee operations. Cpl. Jasper Dampier, exercise detainee-operations instructor with the 324th MP Battalion of Fresno, Calif., said the focus of detainee-operations training will be about getting "back to doctrine" and preparing Soldiers for deployment.

"We are bringing the training and the skills back to what the Army regulations and field manuals show for detention operations," Dampier said. "We are not teaching theater-specific operations … we are looking more at the broad picture."

The Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) 2 training area on South Post will be central to the exercise's detainee-operations training. During the past year, improvements to EPW 2 were made specifically for this exercise, said Range Officer Mike Todd of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Range Management Branch.

"We worked with planners from the 200th (MPC) to determine the requirements necessary to support this exercise," Todd said. "The (new) structures in EPW 2 provide the training platform for the 200th MPC to achieve their training objectives."

Frye said EPW 2 is arranged perfectly for the exercise.

"A lot of resources have flowed into EPW 2," Frye said. "Like Cpl. Dampier said, we are going back to doctrine and EPW 2 represents that for us. EPW 2 was primarily built by U.S. Army engineer construction assets, and that is a realistic thing that would happen. An MP force would follow on (after construction) and occupy an area very much like that regardless of where we would operate in the world."

For the combat-support track of the exercise, Soldiers will beef up their skills in Army Warrior Tasks, communications, and related MP duties. "One of the first training subjects we hit hard is their communications training," Bradley said. "(Squads) will be issued radios (for tactical vehicles) which they will learn how to load and operate."

Combat-support training also will include use of two live-fire shoot houses on North Post, which are part of the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility complex.

"The shoot houses are great because we can leverage a lot of (Soldiers) through for training," Frye said. "We also are using the urban-environment training areas that are available, which also are valuable training venues."

Frye said he believes all those who participate in the exercise will be better MPs because of it.
"The military police corps, in my opinion, is one of the most-diverse elements in the Army Reserve," Frye said. "They have a very broad mission set, and here we are attempting to train them on different tasks they would encounter in almost any situation, such as garrison law enforcement, community policing, detention operations, and combat and maneuver support."

Dampier added, "By providing them with the necessary tools now, it's going to help better them for the future."

Frye said in addition to holding training for Army MPs, a German army reserve officer and a Canadian military police platoon also are participating. "This gives the exercise an international flavor," he said.

For more information about Fort McCoy training, call the DPTMS Training Division at 608-388-5038.