3rd Law Enforcement Battalion reinforces prisoner handling methods
GWANGYANG, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Marines completed an all-inclusive military class on detainee handling March 27 at Gwangyang Port, Republic of Korea during exercise Ssang Yong 2014.
“Part of our mission essential task is conducting detention operations and that’s what we’re practicing out here today,” said Gunnery Sgt. Alvison J. Lee, the company gunnery sergeant for Company C., 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF. “During exercise Ssang Yong, once the Marines make the beach landing they will go up against an oppositional force and may capture prisoners so it’s our job to establish an expeditionary detention facility that can hold a detainee anywhere from the legal 96-hour period they can be held.”
The proper securing, transporting, and detaining of individuals is more complicated than most people realize, according to Lee, from Gallup, N.M.
“What we’re looking for here is to make sure that the Marines understand detainee regulations and are able to properly apply the necessary amount of force,” said Lee. “It’s not just putting the prisoner in handcuffs and taking them back to the rear, you have to ensure you don’t violate their rights guaranteed them by article three of the Geneva Convention.”
In a vast open field surrounded by truck-sized steel containers Marines constructed a mock expeditionary detention facility which came fully equipped and surrounded by razor wire. Then, they moved onto learning proper detainee handling procedures including how to properly secure someone who becomes non-compliant.
“You never know who you will have to deal with in a situation so the training is going to reinforce techniques and methods we use as military police to control an individual,” said Staff Sgt. Hector A. Mendoza, a corrections specialist with the battalion. “The Marines are taught hasty restraints, escorting and transport procedures, frisk and area searches, and different muscle gouging and pressure point techniques.”
Marines partnered up to perform a variety of comprehensive moves against each other to gain more practical experience during the training.
“In order to become proficient in these techniques you have to constantly practice them just like you do in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program,” said Mendoza, from Los Angeles. “This allows you to understand how tight to secure your prisoner restraints or how much pressure is necessary to apply on an individual so you make them cooperate without harming them.”
After the practical application part of the event was finished the Marines seemed to embrace a positive attitude and motivation to be successful for the exercise.
“I learned a lot of muscle gouging and pressure point techniques I didn’t really know before,” said Lance Cpl. Luv J. Tavadia, a military policeman with the battalion. “The training was really helpful because it let me see my strengths and weaknesses; you see people perform the techniques all the time but when you’re the one performing them it’s a lot different.”
Ssang Yong is conducted annually in the Republic of Korea to enhance interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces by performing a full spectrum of amphibious operations while showcasing sea-based power projection in the Pacific.