Missouri Guard trains for Kosovo deployment Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
By Luke Waack
GUIDON staff

Sgt. Anthony Waters, 3175th Military Police Company, stands guard at the unit’s simulated Forward Operating Base at Fort Leonard Wood, Monday. Photo by Luke Waack.
Missouri Army National Guard Soldiers are training at Fort Leonard Wood to prepare for the unit’s largest deployment in almost 100 years.

The 3175th Military Police Company, MOARNG, is using installation training areas and facilities to sharpen Soldier skills before their upcoming deployment to Kosovo.

This military police company is just a small part of the large group scheduled to take up station in the Balkans this spring.

“This is the largest deployment of Missouri National Guard members since World War I. We have over 1,000 Soldiers from throughout the state who are filling the ranks for the Kosovo deployment,” said Capt. Jamie Melchert, MOARNG, deputy Public Affairs Officer.

Primarily, it is a peacekeeping mission, Melchert said.

“This group is going to take over an entire rotation for Kosovo. Brig. Gen. Larry Kay is going to be the general officer in charge of the mission,” Melchert said.

The 3175th MP Co., MOARNG, trained on Fort Leonard Wood, Monday, using two training areas on the installation.

One was set up as a Forward Operating Base, and the other was set up for military operations in urban terrain, Melchert said.

During training, several Soldiers expressed their enthusiasm for the upcoming deployment.

“I think it is an absolutely positive deployment. We’re obviously making a huge difference over there. I think it is a good mission with positive and immediate results,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Richard, 3175th MP Co., acting commander.

The people of Kosovo want us there, and that is important, Richard said.

One Soldier has already seen what the deployment will involve.

“I’m pretty excited about the deployment to Kosovo. I went over on the recon, and I got to see some of the good things people were doing,” said 2nd Lt. Shane Spellman, 3175th MP Co., platoon leader.

The 3175th MP Co. will perform missions in several areas of operation once deployed, Spellman said.

“As Military Police Soldiers, we will be working with the local police and training them. We’ll provide security for any military personnel who need it. We will also be providing law and order,” Spellman said.

Soldiers are using the train-up period at Fort Leonard Wood to improve teamwork and communication skills, Spellman said.

“We have a lot veterans going on this deployment and we have a few people who seem like they just graduated from basic training. This training has been really good for us. We’ve been able to take these new people and develop better team cohesion. It has been pretty intense,” Spellman said.

Under the watchful eyes of the evaluators, Staff Sgt. Scott Smail, 3175th Military Police Company, pats down an “insurgent” during a checkpoint exercise on Fort Leonard Wood, Monday. Photo by Luke Waack.
 But the 3175th MP Co. isn’t just running through training drills, judging their own abilities. They are getting help from other National Guard Soldiers. Members of the Training and Evaluation Battalion observed and gave recommendations to the 3175th MP Co. on how to improve their security operations.

““In 24 days, we give them all the briefings and battle drills that we can to prepare them for deployment. They are conducting battle drills and warrior tasks on a training FOB. We also have other platoons from the unit at a MOUT site conducting patrol missions,” said Capt. Barry Floyd, Training and Evaluation Battalion, officer-in-charge.

We’re using the MOUT site as a chance to train the unit’s new leaders and Soldiers in situations they haven’t faced before, Floyd said.

 “Fort Leonard Wood has a lot to offer. A great MOUT site, plenty of ranges; just a lot that makes it good to train troops here,” Floyd said.
Missouri Army National Guard Soldiers conduct military operations in an urban terrrain prior to their Kosovo deployment. Photo by Luke Waack.
When finished with the 24-days of training here, the unit will go through more training at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and then leave for Europe, Melchert said.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 April 2008 )