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320th Military Police Battalion

The 320th Military Police Battalion is an Army Reserve unit headquartered in Ashelee, PA. They are military policemen, trained in security and peacekeeping. Many of them are police officers and corrections officers in their civilian lives. But every MP will tell you that those initials stand for "multi-purpose".

During Operation Iraqi Freedom the 320th Military Police Battalion of the 800th MP Brigade was responsible for the Guard Force at Camp Ganci, Camp Vigilant, & Cellblock 1 of FOB Abu Ghraib (BCCF). Both the 320th MP Battalion and the 372nd MP Company were located within the confines of FOB Abu Ghraib.

Approximately 150 of the Army reservists were activated in February 2003 as part of Operation as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Soldiers of the 320th Military Police Battalion, based in Hanover Township, arrived stateside in late March 2004 at Fort Dix, NJ, completing a one-year duty in Iraq. The soldiers of the 320th guarded an estimated 20,000 prisoners while in Iraq.

Three members of the 320th Military Police Battalion -- Master Sgt. Lisa Girman, Sgt. 1st Class Scott McKenzie and Spc. Tim Canjar, 21 - all based in - were arraigned 14 November 2003 at Camp Doha in Kuwait. The charges were: dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment of an enemy prisoner of war, false official statement to military authorities, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and assault consummated by battery of an enemy prisoner of war. In early January 2004 the three soldiers accepted non-judicial punishment and were discharged from military service. A fourth, Sgt. Shawna Edmondson, agreed to an other-than-honorable discharge. The events of 12 May 2003 - when the mistreatment allegedly occurred at Camp Bucca, remained controversial. Sometimes as few as 100 MPs were guarding 8,000 prisoners.

The prisoner of war unit was formed following World War II. The 320th was activated for the first time in its history during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and it handled 20,000 prisoners at that time.

Desert Storm showed many how efficient the Army is in for processing enemy prisoners of war. For two weeks, military police units conducting their annual Training at Fort Dix had the capability to process nearly twice as many mock POWs as during the start of the war in the Persian Gulf. Nearly 800 military police officers from two Regional Support Commands and the Maryland Army National Guard set up and operated two internment facilities and a corps level internment operation for Platinum Sword 2000 during June 2000. Before the troops were unleashed to the field many of them also participated in the 77th RSC's 800th Military Police Brigade's Simulation Exercise hosted by the 78th Division Battle Projection Group. Many of the soldiers found themselves participating in the exercise in the field while 48 of the most experienced military-some of whom served in the Gulf War or other contingency operations-helped prepare participating soldiers in the event of a real world mission in Southwest Asia. LTC Carl Nolte, commander of the 320th MP Battalion and served as acting deputy of the 367th MP Group.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:26:22 ZULU