42nd Military Police Brigade
The mission of the 42nd Military Police Brigade is to, on order, deploy to provide command and control for theater-level military police operations; provide trained and ready units to conduct military police operations in support of combatant commanders worldwide; direct law enforcement, corrections, and force protection to provide a safe and secure environment for soldiers, families and visitors of I Corps, Fort Lewis, Washington and the Yakima Training Center. The Brigade additionally provides training, readiness and authority of a geographically separated military police battalion at Forts Carson, Colorado and administrative control in garrison of the 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment.
The 42nd Military Police Battalion was first constituted on 25 January 1968 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 42nd Military Police Group, and activated in Germany. It was redesignated on 21 October 1977 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Military Police Group. The Group was inactivated on 1 June 1992 in Germany.
The unit was redesignated on 12 May 2004 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Military Police Brigade. In late June 2004, the 1st Military Police Brigade (Provisional) at Fort Lewis, Washington received a Department of the Army order to activate as the 42nd Military Police Brigade in October 2004. The Brigade was formally activated on 16 October 2004 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Looming on the horizon was a probable deployment and the Army wasted little time in publishing another order to deploy the Brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company to Iraq in November 2004, less than 30 days after the activation date. Upon arrival in Iraq, the Brigade headquarters began the relief in place of the 89th Military Police Brigade. The initial mission set found military police companies under the operational control of the 1st Cavalry Division for support to maneuver brigades and for security and escorts for embassy and Iraqi transitional government personnel. Three other companies were task-organized from the Brigade to Task Force Olympia and the Multinational Division North Central. The companies were not being managed by the 89th Military Police Brigade. The remaining brigade elements were conducting detention operations at Camp Cropper and Camp Ashraf.
The 42nd Military Police Brigade headquarters quickly established its own battle rhythm. It continued to form as a combat team and complete the nearly 6 months of company-sized deployment and redeployment operations while simultaneously conducting combat support operations. The 6 months of establishing the combat team took its toll on the Brigade and subordinate battalion staffs as they managed the lengthy process while trying to perform combat operations. Evaluation reports, awards, leave planning, and other administrative and support operations were negatively affected by this extended process.
The 42nd Military Police Brigade worked to assist in the development and training of the Iraqi National Police forces during its deployment. The combined efforts of the 1st Cavalry Division and the 42nd Military Police Brigade with the Baghdad police and the Ministry of Interior during the 2005 Iraqi elections proved significant in jump-starting the partnership program the brigade leaders and planners envisioned. The Brigade headquarters partnered well with the Baghdad police. The headquarters of the 720th Military Police Battalion in the east and the 231st Military Police Battalion (and later the 504th Military Police Battalion) in the west partnered with their respective directorate headquarters. The Brigade then ensured that the military police companies partnered with the district commanders within their respective areas of operation.
As the Brigade began departing Iraq, a much better police force was left behind. The Brigade's success led directly to the proclamation of 2006 as the "Year of the Police." The partnership program gave birth to the police transition teams that subsequently, coupled with military police assets in theater, took the Iraqi police to the next level.
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