Military policemen make weapon proficiency priority
CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- A police officer’s job is to serve and protect citizens, which means they need to be at the top of their game and proficient in their duty. The same applies to military policemen when protecting Marines.
Military policemen conducted proficiency sustainment training using various weapons systems Aug. 13-16 at Range 10 near Camp Schwab.
The MPs are assigned to Company B, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
The MPs trained with several weapons systems including the M240B medium machine gun, M249 squad automatic weapon, .50-caliber Browning machine gun and MK19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, all to improve their capabilities should the need arise to implement the varied weapons systems.
“We’re trying to become more familiar with the weapons that we don’t regularly use,” said Sgt. Rene A. Alvidrez Jr., a squad leader with the company. “We are relearning how to properly employ them and perform immediate and remedial actions (if we need to use them in exercises or operations).”
MPs have to be well trained for any situation and need to be prepared for anything, according to Alvidrez.
3rd LE Bn. consists of military policemen who are trained and prepared to quickly deploy in the Asia-Pacific region to help investigate crimes, such as terrorism and drug trafficking, as well as train security forces in partner nations.
“Familiarization with any weapon is essential in a combat environment,” said 1st Lt. Kristin A. Mathias, the officer in charge of the training event. “The training with the weapons systems allows for further combat readiness to support and play an active role if the fight were tonight.”
Before firing at the range, the Marines received instruction on how to assemble, disassemble, properly operate, load, unload and function-check each weapon system, according to Mathias.
“You can only learn so much from doing this in a classroom environment,” said Mathias. “This gives (the Marines) hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply everything they learned during the classes.”
The Marines demonstrated their proficiency with the systems through the practical application of what was learned earlier in the training.
“This not only helps show our proficiency with the weapons, but it gives us a chance to correct any problems,” said Lance Cpl. Edgar Cruz-Ruiz, a military policeman with the company.
Not only does proficiency sustainment training help ensure every weapon is functioning correctly, but it also helps the Marines maintain the expertise needed to respond to any crisis or contingency in the region.
“It’s very important that all Marines in the unit know how to use the weapons because we do a lot of bilateral training with other countries in the Pacific region, so when we go to those other countries we can pass our knowledge on to our allied forces,” said Alvidrez. “This training paints a clear picture of how 3rd LE Bn. supports III MEF capabilities in the Marine Corps’ focus to the Asia-Pacific region.”