BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Soldiers of the 95th Military Police Battalion from Sembach, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart and Baumholder in Germany, and Camp Darby, Italy, gathered at Smith Barracks in Baumholder Sept. 9 to 13 for the 95th’s first Professional Law Enforcement Exercise.
The 95th MP command planned and executed the PLE because law enforcement skills are the highest priority for the unit.
Lt. Col. James Walker II, 95th MP Bn. commander, said law enforcement is the 95th’s primary role in Germany.
Walker defines his unit’s role as, “providing professional law enforcement across all theater and across all garrisons in Europe.”
“It’s our primary mission,” he said. “Because of the financial constraints and the changing environment in which we do deploy, our priority role is policing. So we need to make sure all of our Soldiers are fully trained and skilled to be able to accomplish their mission.”
The PLE provided realistic law enforcement training to prepare MPs to face situations encountered while policing like felony traffic stops, domestic disturbances, active shooter scenarios, safe vehicle operation, firing under stress, barracks disturbances and shoot/no-shoot scenarios.
Maj. Richard Stearns, 95th MP Bn. operations officer in charge, said the companies subordinate to the 95th train on a regular basis and are tested for certification.
However, the PLE had a different purpose.
“The goal of this exercise is to teach rather than certify. It also allows us as battalion trainers to look into the companies and see where everybody is,” Stearns said.
The MPs who were tested found the various stations to be challenging and enjoyable.
Pfc. Bobbi Jo Hartig, 95th MP Bn., said the most challenging part of the PLE was active shooter.
“It was just a hard scenario, where there were a lot of people and it was just something that I didn’t have a lot of practice on,” Hartig said.
Active shooter requires MPs to go into dimly lit buildings with loud music, screams and sirens blaring while engaging notional assailants firing at them with paint-filled modified ammo.
Spc. Martin Mullings, 529th MP Co., said he liked vehicle familiarization the most.
“Because honestly, people break way too many cars being MPs,” he said.
Some MPs could not decide which part they enjoyed the most.
“It’s kind of a tie between the EST (shoot/no-shoot) and vehicle familiarization,” said Pfc. Austin Birdwell of the 529th MP Co. “Those were the most challenging for me and the most fun as well.”
The PLE included role players, instructors, after-action reviews, props and equipment to provide MPs with the tools necessary to train for real life on the road.
Staff Sgt. Chad Theriauot, NCOIC of the EST- shoot/don’t shoot from USAG Livorno Camp Darby, Italy, summed up the desired outcome of his section and the PLE.
“It’s a realistic environment that we try and produce so that what they do in here they can translate out there, because they will face shoot/don’t shoot scenarios every time they go out on the road,” he said.