Marines provide installation safety
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- Working around the clock. Always on the alert. Always on call. This is the job of the interior guard.
The purpose of the interior guard at Camp Hansen is to preserve order, enforce regulations and protect property.
These tasks are accomplished by patrolling the installation's perimeter to ensure the fences and surrounding area are in good condition, patrolling the area outside the installation to ensure Marines are conducting themselves appropriately during liberty hours, and conducting random vehicle searches on vehicles entering the installation.
The interior guard is made up of Marines from different military occupational specialties who are assigned to the interior guard for six months.
"The interior guard is composed of Marines from different units," said Staff Sgt. Jason D. Freeland, a military policeman and the guard chief. "Each unit supplies a certain number of Marines to the interior guard. We have Marines that normally work as administration specialists, motor transport operators, food service specialists, military police, engineers and many other jobs."
After Marines are assigned to the interior guard, they receive special training to prepare them for their new responsibilities.
"A big part of our training is how to deal with crowd dynamics," said Freeland. "We make sure everyone is safe during large events on base such as concerts or festivals."
When learning how to deal with crowd dynamics, the Marines practice techniques constantly so they can react quickly and safely to any situation for which they are called upon.
"They get training on escalation of force, pressure-point techniques, control holds and much more," said Freeland. "It gives the Marines a wide array of training."
The Marines assigned to the interior guard appreciate the opportunity to train and learn new techniques and skills.
"I learned a lot from the training that I would not have learned anywhere else – I really enjoyed it," said Lance Cpl. Gerrod A. Green Jr., a radio operator with 3rd Intelligence Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, and sentry with the interior guard.
The Marines of the interior guard work in shifts around the clock, which is why it is important to train every chance they get, according to Sgt. Trumaine R. Holmes, a combat engineer with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF, and the sergeant of the guard with the interior guard.
After their assignment to the interior guard is finished, the Marines are replaced by other Marines and return to their original units. The turnover rate requires intense training with tremendous attention paid to every detail, according to Holmes.
"The most important thing for us is to make sure the Marines we get create that muscle memory," said Holmes. "They always remain vigilant and constantly train on how to handle certain situations so that if something happens, that muscle memory kicks in and they execute their tasks efficiently."