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709th Military Police Battalion

With the reassignment of the 18th Military Police Brigade to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the 709th Military Police Battalion followed with its parent unit. Previously, as an element of the 18th Military Police Brigade, V Corps, the mission of the 709th Military Police Battalion was to, on order, rapidly deploy and conduct military police operations to ensure success for the 18th Military Police Brigade and V Corps in the US European Command (EUCOM)/US Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility for war and contingencies. The 709th Military Police Battalion served with honor and distinction in the European Theater since it landed at Normandy in 1944. Stationed in Hanau Germany as part of the 18th Military Police Brigade, the Battalion provided community law enforcement and force protection within 10 communities while training for future operations and contingencies in support of V Corps.

The 709th Military Police Battalion served with honor and distinction in Europe for over 56 years. Headquarters and Headquarter Detachment, 709th Military Police Battalion was first constituted on 10 January 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 709th Military Police Battalion. The Battalion was activated at Camp Niantic, Connecticut on 9 April 1942. The Battalion trained for immediate service in World War II.

At the height of the submarine menace, the Battalion received the critical mission of securing portions of the New England coast against potential saboteurs, while providing on-site security for various, radio stations, defense plants, and war material shipments. The Battalion was tasked in early 1943 to guard German prisoners of war shipped from North Africa to US ports and to escort prisoners from these ports to internment facilities.

In October 1943, the Battalion consolidated at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where it underwent 6 months of intensive training. On 25 July 1944, the Battalion departed Boston Harbor enroute for Liverpool, England, thus marking the last time it was in the Continental United States. The Battalion landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy and on 29 August 1944, the Battalion entered Paris. As the sole military police unit in the city, the unit operated the Paris Detention Barracks and provided installation security and traffic escort for supply movements in the war torn city.

The Battalion was reorganized and redesignated on 5 June 1945 as the 709th Military Police Service Battalion. In October 1945, the battalion moved to Frankfurt, Germany, assuming military police duties in another major city devastated by war. The Battalion was reorganized and redesignated again on 18 September 1951 as the 709th Military Police Battalion and allotted to the Regular Army.

In March 1953, the Battalion assumed all military police service support throughout the newly created Northern Area Command. In October 1977, the Battalion expanded its support mission throughout the V Corps area, activating Companies A, B, and C on 21 October 1977. During the height of the cold war the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment provided command and control, intelligence, administrative, logistics and maintenance support to 5 companies providing military police combat support to V Corps and peacetime law enforcement to 12 communities.

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Battalion played an important role in securing rail cars and convoys designated for ports of embarkation and also providing continuous law enforcement and personnel security missions for communities within Germany. In 1991 the Battalion deployed to Northern Iraq in support of operation Provide Comfort, where it provided humanitarian relief to Kurdish refugees. In September 1994, the Battalion moved its headquarters from Frankfurt, Germany to Hanau, Germany.

In December 1995, the Battalion deployed to Croatia in support of operation Joint Endevour, where it provided security and traffic circulation control support to the initial bridge building operations over the Sava River. In early January 1996, the Battalion crossed the Sava River as part of the lines of the communication opening force, preparing the way for eventual entrance of Task Force Eagle units into Bosnia-Herzegovina. Missions conducted in Bosnia included: river crossing operations, main supply route security, traffic circulation control, area security in and around US base camps, convoy escorts, VIP escorts, law enforcement operations, civil disturbance operations, and eventually Bosnian election support. The Battalion returned to Germany in October 1996.

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Page last modified: 22-11-2011 15:33:54 ZULU