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In some operational contingencies your unit may be called on to carry out a "special-purpose" MP operational. In carrying out a special-purpose operation your unit concentrates on performing one complex set of actions continuously. A unit carrying out an MP special-purpose operation like processing captives for internment, interning EPWs, providing the special security measures needed for security of nuclear ammunition, or providing security for deep-water port, rail, or pipeline cargoes provides its single, specialized function in support of the whole theater.

Historically, the functional commands of the theater Army (TA), and the MP special-purpose units assigned to those TA functional commands, have provided the technical expertise, equipment, and force structure to carry out special-purpose functions. In a mature theater of operations, MP guard companies, escort guard companies, and processing elements assigned to the PERSCOM control, process, intern, and sustain large numbers of EPWs and CIs. The PWIC maintains records of EPWs who are processed for internment or international transfer by US forces within the theater. And MP security companies and heavy security companies assigned to the theater Army's transportation command (TRANSCOM), petroleum group, ordnance group, and special ammunition brigade provide the specialized security needed for the type of facilities operated or supplies controlled by each of those TA functional commands.

But even in mature theaters the number and kind of special-purpose MP units in the theater varies with--

  • The type, size, and mission of the parent unit to which these MP companies are assigned.
  • The operational environment of the theater--most of the TA functional units to which special-purpose MP units are assigned are present only in fully developed theaters.

Now, in the early days of a developing theater, TAACOM MP can expect to undertake special-function MP operations if they are needed in the theater. Until a PERSCOM's MP PW brigade is available in the theater, TAACOM MP brigades can expect to process or temporarily intern EPWs/CIs. Until a TRANSCOM is operating in a theater, TAACOM MP elements can expect to provide, in limited form, security for railway, port, or pipeline cargoes.

The theater's need for specialized security operations and EPW operations is always integrated into the TA commander's overall plan. At times, when the TA commander must delegate MP functional security or EPW requirements to his TAACOM commanders, the specialized operations also must become integrated and prioritized with the MP combat support operations for each TAACOM.

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