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MP support company takes on field exercise

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Daniel A. Flynn, Marine Corps Bases Japan

CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, Okinawa -- More than 50 Marines from Military Support Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, recently participated in a two-week training evolution here.

The training was designed to test the Marines in all aspects of being military policemen in a forward-deployed environment according to Maj. Marcus L. Young, the commanding officer for MP Support Company.

As part of the training, the Marines conducted a variety of scenarios requiring the Marines to execute patrols, convoys and dealing with improvised explosive devices.

During one scenario a specialized patrol explosive detection dog was used to lead the Marines to an improvised explosive device. After the threat of the IED was eliminated, another dog was brought in, a combat tracking dog. Shortly after getting to the site, he caught a scent and the hunt was on.

“This training exercise is (constantly changing),” said Young. “This is the first, but in the future we are planning to add a lot more to the training.”

The training was designed to test the Marines in all aspects of being a military policeman in a forward-deployed environment, added Young. “Everyone is using simulation rounds, not blanks, because we want this as close to an operating environment as possible.”

“Most Marines only think MP give out tickets,” said Young. “They don’t know how much (more) is involved.”

He went on to say their main goal with this training is to show what his company can bring to the fight.

“Training like this is vital to the unit,” said Sgt. John Oyervides, military working dog handler, MPs Support Company. “It builds camaraderie and helps us prepare for deployments like the one we are about to go on to Afghanistan.”

This training also allows the different types of dog handlers to train with their dogs.

Sgt. Gary Rowan, military working dog handler, MP Support Company, said his dog did extremely well today when he tracked a mock suspect about four hundred yards into the dense jungle. “A (combat tracking dog) is trained to find a scent at the scene of an IED and follow it all the way back to the maker of the bomb,” he said.

The Marines as a whole agreed this training was a good experience and the command leadership looks forward to proving that while they have only been a company for two years, they have a lot to bring to the table.

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