Special Reaction Teams ramp up skills on post Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Story and photo by Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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Fort Leonard Wood’s Advanced Law Enforcement Training Division is responsible for the military law enforcement Special Reaction Teams responding to threats on installations around the world.

“SRTs are like civilian SWAT (special weapons and tactics team). They are provided advanced training in tactics, weapons and specialized equipment, eliminating potential threats while preserving human life and ensuring the safety and security of military and civilian personnel on installations,” said Michael Terry, Advanced Law Enforcement Training Division chief.

Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and all the civilians assigned within those services learn their Special Reaction Team skills from the U.S. Army Military Police School Special Reaction Team course either here on post or from one of the course’s Mobile Training Teams, teaching the course at locations worldwide.

Front to back: Marine Cpl. Carlos Jauregui, Marine Sgt. Adam Munoz and Capt. Brian Fuchs, SRT students, advance on a doorway during a training exercise.
“SRT training is centralized. This way we can make sure everybody is operating under the same Tactics, Techniques and Procedures,” Terry said. “We deploy a MTT to larger groups that need to be trained on an installation, because it’s cost effective for us to go to them.”

Special Reaction Teams provide commanders a unique capability to respond to special threats, such as barricaded subjects, hostage situations, active shooters and high-risk incidents on their installations.

“These types of threats require a law enforcement response above and beyond normal police patrol capabilities,” Terry said. ‘They are learning everything from concepts to hostage rescue. They learn how to deal with single-cell or lone wolf situations to multi-cell situations, where you have multiple terrorists attacking several locations.”

Each year 650 students graduate from Special Reaction Team training. 

“Most SRT members perform a law enforcement function within their organizations and the SRT is their additional duty,” Terry said.

To attend the Special Reaction Team course each unit defines their own selection criteria based upon their mission.

“The people that are being trained here are key in training personnel on other installations,” Terry said.

That is one of the reasons Capt. Brian Fuchs, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 761st Military Police Battalion, Alaskan National Guard commander, is on post taking the course — to share the training with his fellow Soldiers in Alaska.

“This class is giving us a great foundation of training on what SRTs are all about. I can take these fundamentals back to my unit and apply them to build teams,” Fuchs said.

He feels fortunate to be able to be on Fort Leonard Wood to get the SRT training.

“These instructors are top notch and the facilities are some of the best in the world,” Fuchs said.

Another student, Marine Cpl. Byrant Neal, Helicopter Marine Squadron, Quantico, Va., agreed. He said the SRT training is critical for the future of his squadron.

“We are currently trying to build an SRT for our unit. We are looking into transitioning from being general Provost Marshal Officers to having a specialized unit,” Neal said. “We need an SRT to be available for rapid deployment.”

Upon gaining sufficient experience as an SRT member, troops may be selected to attend the SRT Marksman/Observer course. Terry said he graduates 250 Marksman/Observer students each year.

The SRT M/O course is a tough and very demanding experience. Students must be fully prepared for the high shooting standards associated with the SRT M/O duties. It is common for students to be eliminated from training due to improper preparation or demonstration of poor shooting skills and fundamentals.

     “The SRTs are responsible for the objective itself. The Marksman/Observers provide inner perimeter security, intelligence gathering and if necessary, highly accurate and effective neutralization of hostile targets in special threat situations — they are basically snipers,” Terry said.

The Law Enforcement Tactics branch on post prides themselves with staying one step ahead of the adversaries.

“All of the instructors are either on local-civilian SRTs, military SRTs or are former military that have just come off teams. We strive to make sure we have cutting edge TTPs in their hands. So, the students graduating have the current information,” Terry said. “As we continue to lead the way we have no doubt that the SRT training program will have a positive impact on the Army’s ability to provide a highly trained force capable of rapid deployment in response to special threat situations.”
Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 May 2013 )