1-1 AD MPs train Wisconsin Guard
Maj. Deanna Bague
Fort Bliss Public Affairs
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. - Military police officers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, are helping train Wisconsin National Guardsmen from the 32nd Infantry BCT mobilized here.
The Guardsmen are scheduled to deploy later this spring and have been identified to perform detainee operations, said Staff Sgt. Preston Gladd of STB, 1-1 AD. Gladd is one of the observer controller/trainers supporting Task Force Outlaw, the task force that trains thousands of servicemembers here on how to conduct detainee operations in theater. Gladd and other members of his unit are providing the Guardsmen instruction in the correctional specialist field.
“They are taught different areas of responsibility to cover detainee movements, individual movements, [and] moving detainees by vehicle, bus and aircraft,” said Gladd.
Soldiers are also learning how to run a theater internment facility, which include several elements like the guard force, the internment reaction force and the force cell, Gladd added. They also receive training on unarmed self-defense, less-than-lethal weapons capabilities and how to react to Oleoresin Capsicum gas.
All of the 1-1 AD MPs who are backfilling for TF Outlaw received the same instruction the Guardsmen are receiving. The MPs were trained and validated as instructors in order to teach the detainee operations course. Only 10 percent of the 1-1 AD team are noncommissioned officers, meaning 90 percent of the instructors are junior-enlisted, said Gladd.
“This is a rare opportunity for our [privates first class] and specialists to become instructors, to be subject-matter experts in this field,” Gladd said.
There was a consensus among the young Soldiers on what a great opportunity it was for them to instruct early in their military career. Twenty-year-old Pfc. Joseph Laster of STB, 1-1 AD, said he was nervous at first, but highly motivated about teaching Soldiers who outranked him.
“My first class, I was petrified because you have a first sergeant and a commander in the back and you're kind of shaky,” said Laster. “But then they start asking questions and it gets you more comfortable. They're learning from you, so there's no reason to be nervous.”
Officials from TF Outlaw said they welcome the assistance and support from 1-1 AD.
“[The unit] has been a great asset to us,” said Master Sgt. Dwaine Bailey, noncommissioned officer in charge of individual training for TF Outlaw. “[They] stepped in and pulled the duties that a lot of our NCOs would be pulling as OC/Ts.”
The instruction is challenging, especially for those who have never deployed before, said Sgt. 1st Class David Wilson, A Co., 1st Bn., 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd IBCT. Although, he said, they utilize their unit's internal assets such as experience from individuals who have deployed before and from those who work in law enforcement in their civilian occupations. Everyone improves with each day of training because the OC/Ts are very thorough in their teachings, he said.
“Where it's appropriate besides just the stagnate … doctrinal instruction, they'll throw in real-life scenarios and experiences that they've had, to give a better visualization of what we can expect when we get on the ground,” said Wilson.
Overall, the training is a win-win situation, said Bailey. Guard and Reserve Soldiers working with active-duty troops in pursuit of one common goal, he said.
“It's a great benefit to the units, obviously, going downrange to run this mission,” said Gladd. “Their lives are in our hands. The training that we do here impacts the safety and the awareness when they get downrange to do their mission. It also enables us to know this mission inside and out. And as military police officers, that is one of our No. 1 missions: internment resettlement.”