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503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)
"Enforcer"

The mission of the 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) is to, on order, rapidly deploy anywhere in the world in response to crisis actions or contingency operations in support of the 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) and XVIII Corps (Airborne). The Battalion also provides installation access control, force protection, and law enforcement operations to the Fort Bragg Military Community.

The 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) was originally constituted on 27 February 1922 in the Organized Reserves as the 303rd Military Police Battalion. The Battalion was organized in March 1922 with Headquarters at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Battalion was inactivated on 1 January 1938 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was concurrently withdrawn from the Organized Reserves and allotted to the Regular Army.

The Battalion was redesignated on 1 June 1940 as the 503rd Military Police Battalion and activated on 1 February 1943 at Camp Maxey, Texas. The 503rd Military Police Battalion fought on the battlefields of Europe and qualified for its first World War II campaign honors on the beachhead at Normandy. As a result of its distinguished service during the Second World War, the Battalion was awarded its first Meritorious Unit Commendation. After the Second World War, the Battalion was inactivated on 13 March 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

The Battalion was reactivated on 15 June 1946 in Italy and inactivated there on 15 November 1947. On 16 February 1949, the 503rd Military Police Battalion was reactivated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the mission of training Military Policemen and providing law enforcement support to the Fort Bragg community.

In May 1965, the 503rd Military Police Battalion was deployed to the Dominican Republic as part of a peacekeeping force. For these duties, the Battalion was awarded its second Meritorious Unit Commendation. The Battalion was reorganized on 1 November 1970 to consist of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion. Companies A, B, and C were concurrently inactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

On 27 October 1983, advance elements of the 503rd Military Police Battalion were sent to Grenada as part of Operation Urgent Fury. The remainder of the Battalion was in place on the island by 14 November 1983. On a rotating basis until 1 January 1985, the 21st, 65th, and 108th Military Police Companies returned to Grenada on 60-day deployments. During Operation Island Breeze, the soldiers performed security missions and assisted members of the Caribbean Peacekeeping Force and the Royal Grenadian Police Force.

On 20 December 1989, the Battalion deployed to the Republic of Panama for Operation Just Cause and performed over 140 combat missions with no friendly casualties. After hostilities ceased, the Battalion restored law and order in Panama City and helped establish the new Panamanian Police Force.

On 27 August 1990, the Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield and subsequently participated in Operation Desert Storm, taking part in combat operations to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The Battalion returned to Fort Bragg in March 1991. In September 1994, the Battalion deployed to Haiti, participating in Operation Uphold Democracy. All units returned to Fort Bragg in November 1994.

The Battalion played a significant role in the military operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the late 1990s, the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne), the 108th Military Police Company (Air Assault), and the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed to Bosnia in support of Operations Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, and Joint Force.

In February 1999, the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne) was deployed to Panama to perform law enforcement support for the remaining US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) units and installations, while the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed one platoon to support the Kosovar-Albanian Refugee Relief Efforts at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In November 1999, the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed to Kosovo in support of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) as part of rotation 1B (KFOR 1B) and returned in May 2000. In July 2000, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) and the 108th Military Police Company (Air Assault) deployed to Kosovo in support of KFOR 2A, forming Task Force 503 in Multi-National Brigade East. Both units returned home in December 2000, at which time the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) rotated into Kosovo as a member of Task Force 716 in support of KFOR 3A.

The Battalion answered the Commander in Chief's call to arms on 11 September 2001. Shortly after the terrorist attacks, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) and the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed to the Military District of Washington to provide force protection for the Pentagon.

In November 2001, the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan as a member of Logistical Task Force 507, and in December 2001, the 108th Military Police Company (Airborne) (Air Assault) deployed to Afghanistan in support of Combined Joint Task Force 180. The 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) and the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne) rotated into Afghanistan in July and December 2002 respectively.

In April 2003, the 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) deployed to Iraq with its Headquarter and Headquarters Detachment, the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne), and the 108th Military Police Company (Airborne) (Air Assault) serving in Mosul, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service. The 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) followed in January 2004 and the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne) in March 2004.

In December 2004, the 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) Headquarters deployed to Baghdad and assumed mission from the 95th Military Police Battalion. The 65th and 108th Military Police Companies followed in January and February 2005. In September 2005, the Battalion Headquarters and the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne) recieved a new mission and were moved north to Mosul, Iraq as part of the military police functional realignment. The 108th Military Police Company (Airborne) (Air Assault) remained in Baghdad to conduct Police Partnership with Iraqi Police. The 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) deployed to Iraq in December 2005.




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