18th Military Police Brigade
As part of the progressive downsizing of V Corps between 2006 and 2007, the 18th Military Police Brigade, "Ever Vigilant," was reorganized and reassigned to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, US Army Europe (USAEUR). Its mission with V Corps had been to rapidly deploy and conducts Military Police combat support operations in support of US European Command (EUCOM) and US Central Command (CENTCOM) regional military objectives, or in support of NATO and UN Military operations. It would also provide trained and ready forces in support of V Corps validated operational requirements.
The Distinctive Unit Insignia was originally approved on 1 June 1966. It was amended on 9 May 1985 to update the description and symbolism of the insignia, consisting of a square, one point up, divided horizontally, the top half yellow, the bottom half black, bearing a red lion's head guardant, mouth black and tongue blue; and attached below the square a silver scroll inscribed "EVER VIGILANT" in black letters. The background represented the day (yellow/gold color) and the night (black) over which the strong watchful eye of the military police, represented by the lion's head, was in constant vigilance.
The shoulder sleave insignia was authorized on 1 June 1966, consisting of a a shield with a yellow border a green field bearing the yellow silhouette of a Roman fasces charged with a green sword point up. Green and yellow were the colors of the Military Police Corps. The fasces, an ancient symbol of the magistrate's authority, and the sword for the military were combined to symbolize military law and order.
The 18th Military Police Brigade was first constituted on 23 March 1966 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 18th Military Police Brigade. On 20 May 1966, the 18th Military Police Brigade was activated at Fort Mead, Maryland. Members of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment deployed to Vung Tau Republic of Vietnam on 7 September 1966.
On 26 September 1966, the Brigade assumed operational control over all non-divisional military police units in the Republic of Vietnam. The Brigade was composed of 3 major subordinate elements; the 16th Military Police Group at Nha Trang, and the 89th Military Police Group and 8th Military Police Group (Criminal Investigation) at Long Binh.
The 16th and 89th Military Police Groups were composed of 7 military police battalions, containing a mixture of military police and infantry companies. The units were stationed throughout every Corps Tactical Zone in the Republic of Vietnam, ranging from Da Nang in the north to Soc Trang in the south. The total strength of the Brigade numbered more than 5,000 personnel.
Members of the Brigade performed a wide variety of missions including evacuation of prisoners of war, security of vessels and ports, convoy escort, security of vital installations and VIPs, maintenance of discipline, law and order, and direct support to combat operations. One of the Brigade's finest moments came during the Tet Offensive of 1968, where the 716th Military Police Battalion was the principal force that defeated the Viet Cong's attack on Saigon.
The Brigade completed its service in Vietnam and was inactivated on 29 March 1973 in Oakland, California. The Brigade was redesignated on 16 August 1985 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Military Police Brigade and activated in Frankfurt, Federal Republic of Germany.
Between 1990 and 1991, Battalions from the Brigade deployed to support VII Corps in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and V Corps in Operation Provide Comfort. In August 1994, the Brigade moved its headquarters to Mannheim, Germany. Headquartered in Mannheim, the 18th Military Police Brigade was within a 30-minute drive of the V Corps Headquarters in Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany. The Brigade's subordinate units were dispersed throughout central Germany with the 709th Military Police Battalion headquartered in Hanau and the 793rd Military Police Battalion headquartered in Bamberg. Hanau was approximately a one-hour drive from Mannheim and Bamberg was 3 hours.
Elements of the Brigade also deployed to support Operation Provide Promise. Between 1995 and 1996, the Brigade deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor as part of NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR). Additionally, units of the Brigade have provided a recurring presence in support of operations in the Balkans since 1995. The 18th Military Police Brigade led Task Force Summit in 1999, providing security for 49 world leaders in a summit meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina.
The 18th Military Police Brigade was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. It was then deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 21 February 2003 to 7 February 2004, where it crossed the berm with V Corps and was responsible for military police operations in support of ground combat. Subsequently the unit was responsible for the training of the Iraqi Police and establishment of the Baghdad Police Academy and police service. Upon return from Iraq in February 2004, the Brigade immediately began to prepare for a return to Iraq and was the first Brigade in the army to return to Iraq on 30 November 2004 serving there until 7 November 2005.
While in Iraq, the Brigade was responsible for route security along the main supply routes in and around Baghdad. There it was partnered with the Iraqi Police in Al Kut, Al Hillah, Ad Diwaniya, Karbala and Najaf. The 18th Military Police Brigade transformed the Iraqi Highway Patrol from a regional organization of 300 patrolmen to a federal law enforcement agency with national jurisdiction, a new academy and a national headquarters in Baghdad. Additionally, the Brigade took control of all detention operations in Iraq, to include the establishment of Fort Suse, the newest facility in northern Iraq. Between September of 2007 and December of 2008, the Brigade Headquarters deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to oversee the training of the Iraqi Police.
In August 2009, the 28th Transportation Battalion assigned to the Brigade began moving toward an inactivation in 2010. In 2010, the 793rd Military Police Battalion left the 18th Military Police Brigade for Alaska, where it became part of the 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, US Army Alaska.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|