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Chapter 11

Stability and Support Operations

ARFOR conduct stability operations in a complex, dynamic, and often asymmetric environment. Stability operations are usually nonlinear and noncontiguous. They are often time and manpower intensive. The purpose of support operations is to meet the immediate needs of designated groups for a limited time until civil authorities can accomplish these tasks without Army assistance.
FM 3-0
The Army's mission is to prepare for war and, when deterrence fails, to achieve a quick, decisive victory. The DOD projects that many of its future missions will be stability and support operations. However, these operations are not new to the Army. The Army has participated in stability and support operations in support of national interests throughout history. The Army has protected its citizens, assisted nations abroad, and served America in a variety of other missions. The pace, frequency, and variety of stability and support operations have quickened in the last three decades. As demonstrated in Operations Provide Comfort, Restore Democracy, and JTF Los Angeles, these types of operations present a challenge to all services.


11-1. Stability operations are conducted outside of the US and its territories to promote and protect US national interests by influencing political, civil, and military environments and by disrupting specific illegal activities. Stability operations may include both developmental and coercive actions. Developmental actions enhance a HN government's willingness and ability to care for its people. Coercive actions apply carefully prescribed limited force or the threat of forces to change the AO's environment.

11-2. Support operations provide essential supplies and services to relieve suffering and to help civil authorities prepare or respond to crises. In most cases, the ARFOR's efforts are focused on overcoming conditions created by man-made or natural disasters. The ultimate goal of support operations is to meet the immediate needs of designated groups (for a limited time) until civil authorities can accomplish these tasks without Army assistance.

11-3. Stability and support operations are distinctly different from offensive and defensive operations and must be analyzed differently. For instance, the application of the rules of engagement (ROE) will be unique to the operation. The restrictions on combat operations and the use of force must be understood and obeyed at all levels. MP leaders must clearly take the initiative and ensure that the applicable guidance is implemented and followed by all subordinates.

11-4. Stability and support operations have more diverse political considerations than are usually encountered in war. There are also complexities that must be addressed in joint, combined, and interagency stability and support operations. The Army's challenge is to execute these operations successfully in a joint or combined arena without degrading its capability to wage war successfully.

11-5. If the US is to fight and win future wars, it must develop, train, and employ its force structure in a manner that ensures success in every operation across the spectrum of military operations. Under these auspices, MP forces can provide commanders with especially valuable assets for stability and support operations. The MP have the unique capability of serving as a combat, CS, and CSS force. The domestic and international acceptability of the MP operational image frequently makes the MP the most appropriate force for stability and support operations. Additionally, the MP are flexible and capable of rapidly transitioning from one end of the spectrum to the other if the environment changes.


11-6. The MP's capabilities and their operational and supporting tasks are as integral to stability and support operations as they are to offensive and defensive operations. MP branch-/core-related skills are highly compatible with the capabilities required for stability and support operations. The MP provide a highly capable, politically acceptable force that is suitable for a variety of missions. They possess robust moving, shooting, and communicating capabilities; and they project an assist, protect, and defend image that is particularly important when tailoring a force that requires significant capabilities but a low political profile. The MP provide a flexible, but limited, economy-of-force organization. Mission requirements will always exceed available MP resources, especially in stability and support operations. For this reason, MP assets must be prioritized to deliver the greatest mission capability. The specific operations that MP units perform at a given time are determined by the echelon commander's needs, the mission requirements, and the availability of MP resources. As discussed in previous chapters, the echelon commander, through the command's PM, sets the priorities for MP operations. As in offensive and defensive operations, the PM knows that while the MP force can perform all MP functions, they may not be robust enough to perform all assigned MP missions all of the time. The PM must continuously make trade-offs between the numbers and kinds of MP missions that can be supported.

11-7. The MP's capabilities are further enhanced by their training, mind-set, and experience in dealing with people in highly stressful and confusing situations. Although capable of conducting combat operations when needed, the MP are highly practiced in de-escalation and in employing the minimum-essential force to contain potentially violent situations. This mind-set serves as the framework for MP law-enforcement training and is especially applicable in MP support for stability and support operations. Furthermore, this mind-set is exercised and reinforced daily in peacetime law-enforcement operations. This is a significant capability. MP soldiers learn and receive constant reinforcement training in controlling a situation on the spot before it escalates and cannot be controlled. The MP have a unique understanding of human nature and are adept at handling emotion-laden situations.

11-8. The MP stress four essential training competencies—skill proficiency, human dimension and attitude, camaraderie and teamwork, and leadership. These competencies are the foundation for all MP operational performances. They equip the MP to exercise discretion in dealing with others, to protect and assist those in need, and to accomplish the varying demands of MP missions in stability and support operations and, when needed, in war.


11-9. Stability and support operations are performed in support of US authorities or in support of international bodies and foreign governments when so required by US authorities. The MP have long provided the essential support for stability and support operations; however, the frequency of these operations has increased significantly in recent years. Consequently, the MP have been deployed in greater numbers with greater frequency. MP units have a substantial history of successful, simultaneous, and continuous deployments in both a lead and a support role.


11-10. The purpose of support to domestic civil authorities is to—

  • Render humanitarian assistance.
  • Provide disaster relief.
  • Restore order.
  • Combat terrorism.
  • Support counterdrug operations.

11-11. Military operations supporting domestic civil authorities are governed by the provisions of the Stafford Act, the Posse Comitatus Act, and other laws and regulations. Peacetime experience in civil-military affairs equips the MP to oversee, assist, and train other units and agencies for law enforcement, sensitive security, and operations to control dislocated civilians (within the legal limits of a particular stability or support operation). For this reason, the MP are often needed after other forces have redeployed, and they stay until government order is restored. Since active-component military missions are constrained by the Posse Comitatus Act, nonfederalized national guard (NG) units are often employed to conduct these operations (particularly counterdrug operations). The NG units can operate under gubernatorial authority within state jurisdiction without Posse Comitatus restrictions. The NG MP units are the only NG units trained, skilled, and experienced in providing law enforcement. They offer civilian authorities a unique, specialized capability not available from other NG units.


11-12. Humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations provide emergency assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters and other endemic conditions. Natural disasters include earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Man-made disasters include riots and civil conflicts. Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief conducted by US forces alleviate urgent nonmilitary needs of a populace until the appropriate civilian agencies can provide the needed services without military support. These types of operations include, but are not limited to—

  • Conducting searches and rescues.
  • Evacuating, sheltering, sustaining, and protecting dislocated civilians.
  • Making food, medical care and treatment, and other civilian-aid programs available.
  • Reducing opportunities for criminal activity and restoring L&O.
  • Maintaining other operations needed to ensure the well being of the affected population.
  • Providing relief operations for man-made disasters. These operations are characterized by civil conflict, and they entail all of the requirements for other disasters but focus on the restoration of L&O.
  • Providing force protection and security.

11-13. MP support can be an important asset in all disaster-relief operations. The MP are trained and equipped for decentralized operations. MP teams operate in highly mobile vehicles equipped with radios, which are invaluable in disaster-relief operations. Each MP platoon, company, and battalion headquarters is equipped with high-frequency radios. These capabilities allow the MP (even when widely dispersed) to maintain centralized communications; to provide L&O support; and to assist in search, rescue, and evacuation efforts. Because of their decentralized operations and communications equipment, the MP can also play a vital role in notification, ADC, and access and egress control. They can deploy with disaster-assessment teams to assist in advising and developing a disaster-assistance plan. The MP can also deploy to an affected area to—

  • Assist in restoring order.
  • Search for, rescue, and evacuate victims.
  • Provide personnel and vehicular circulation controls.
  • Provide ADC.
  • Conduct detention operations.
  • Provide physical and area security to protect life and property immediately following a disaster.
  • Protect fire and emergency-services personnel.
  • Gather, record, and report information.
  • Provide force protection and security.

11-14. MP (I/R) battalions can support civil-affairs units by establishing I/R facilities to shelter, sustain, protect, and account for disaster-relief victims. These units can also train and assist government agencies (US and foreign) or police in the operation of facilities for dislocated civilians and detainees.

11-15. The MP possess capabilities critical to relief in man-made disasters characterized by civil conflict. The MP have the essential training and skills needed for relief operations that focus on restoring civil order. Restoration of civil order demands—

  • Objectivity and neutrality. The objective of civil-disturbance control is to restore L&O, not to impose punishment or suppress peaceful dissent. Government forces quelling civil disorders must be emotionally objective and politically neutral. MP law-enforcement training stresses objectivity and neutrality, an important attribute for forces employed in stability or support operations.
  • Minimal use of force. The application of more than minimum force may be detrimental to mission success. The MP are particularly suited for these situations, having been trained on the technique for the use and measured application of minimum forces to accomplish mission goals.
  • Public acceptance. Government forces must avoid actions that will alienate the populace. Any action offensive to community sensitivities must be avoided. The MP receive training in crowd-control operations, interpersonal communications skills, and minimum use-of-force techniques—skills that are critical in gaining public acceptance.
  • Positive image. In many disturbance operations, demonstrators and government forces compete for the approval and sympathy of the general population. The MP's assist-and-protect image provides the government with a distinct advantage in such situations.
  • Threat awareness. Government forces must pay attention to and try to learn the organization, intentions, and activities of demonstrators. Equal attention must be paid to how the community will respond to the demonstrator's actions and the government's response. The MP interact daily with the populace, placing them in a position to develop criminal information and to determine the collective attitude of the populace.
  • Effective coordination. Disturbance operations often involve many agencies from various levels of government. Thorough, timely, and coordinated preparation, planning, training, and execution are essential for mission success. MP civil-disturbance training (including planning and coordination measures) and their communications assets enhance coordination, particularly during mission execution.
  • Operational unity. Multiple control forces representing different agencies with varying jurisdictional authority can pose C 2 problems. When unity of command cannot be achieved, operational unity must be achieved by colocating operational centers, integrating communications, and delineating organizational responsibilities. The MP are well trained in police and military operations, possessing a sound understanding of both civilian police and military measures, legal constraints, and effective coordination.

11-16. The MP operational tasks supporting man-made disasters vary according to the nature of the disaster and the operational environment. For example, in CONUS where the commitment of military forces to civil disturbances is considered a last resort and military involvement is limited by law, nonfederalized NG MP units have long been employed by civil authorities for their unique capabilities. MP forces can—

  • Isolate and contain an area with barricades, roadblocks, and perimeter patrols. The MP can also assist civil-affairs units by enforcing pass and identification systems and public-utility controls.
  • Provide mobile patrols to enhance the security of high-priority targets (such as buildings, utilities, and services that are critical to the community's economic and physical well being).
  • Monitor, disperse, contain, or limit crowd movement through—
    • Observation points and patrols.
    • The communication of interest and intent to the crowd.
    • The channelization or diversion of the crowd.
    • Gaining the cooperation of the dissident leadership.
    • The proclamation of the illegal nature of the crowd's actions.
    • Show of force.
    • The use of crowd-control formations.
    • The apprehension of crowd members and leaders.
    • The application of minimum-force measures.

  • Establish area control to prevent looting, to protect businesses and other likely targets, and to prevent arson. The MP accomplish this mission with saturation patrolling, including vehicle and foot patrols. With augmentation, the MP can perform air and water patrols. They also enforce populace control measures (such as ordinances to prevent gathering, permits to gather, restrictions on circulation, restrictions on the interference with government and public functions and personnel, restrictions on possessing weapons, and other measures instituted by civil authorities).
  • Neutralize special threats (such as snipers and bombings) that are highly dangerous to both government forces and the community. Snipers pose a particularly grave danger in disaster-relief operations. The MP can take immediate protective actions, secure an area, isolate the threat and, when authorized, use SRTs to assist civilian or HN authorities in apprehending or neutralizing the sniper. The MP are trained to perform the necessary actions when an explosive device is discovered. In such an event, they can secure and evacuate an area, organize search teams, and isolate the site.

11-17. The MP can also support in rescue and recovery operations, which may include rescuing US or foreign nationals. Such operations are also employed to locate, identify, and recover sensitive materials deemed critical to national security. The operations may be conducted in benign or hostile environments. The MP provide OPSEC, and they process and account for civilians affected by rescue and recovery operations. The MWD teams can also help search for lost or hidden personnel. In stability and support operations, the MP can perform their police functions for rescue and recovery operations while keeping the perceived military signature low.


11-18. Counterdrug operations are measures taken to disrupt, interdict, and destroy illicit drug activities. In a counterdrug role, the DOD may offer certain forms of support to HN counterdrug personnel, to US civilian law-enforcement agencies operating in a HN, to Department of State (DOS) counterdrug personnel, and to the Bureau of International Narcotics Matters. Without direction from the National Command Authority acting under constitutional or statutory authority, US forces engaged in counterdrug activities may not engage in direct law-enforcement activities (such as apprehension, search, seizure, and other similar activities). As discussed earlier, the Posse Comitatus Act authorizes specific DOD assistance in counterdrug activities, but US military forces usually may not participate directly in arrests, searches, seizures, and similar activities. Conversely, as discussed earlier, USC Title 32 authorizes state governors to use NG MP units with full authority to engage directly in law-enforcement activities. When authorized, US advisors may accompany counterdrug forces on operations.

11-19. MP operational contributions can include the use of force, drug identification, crime-scene protection, customs operations, surveillance of criminal activity, serious-incident reporting, and other related activities. Employing the MP for these operations ensures force suitability and avoids a mismatch in terms of unit capability and mission effectiveness.

11-20. Border-screening operations consist of three separate but related measures—mobile patrolling, the use of listening/observation posts, and airfield surveillance. These measures are part of the MP's AS and MMS functions used in tactical rear-area operations. The MP's operational effectiveness may be further increased through augmentation by a civilian law-enforcement officer who would be responsible for search, seizure, and arrest actions. Active-component units are permitted to assist in marijuana eradication in support of domestic law-enforcement agencies (DLEAs). Marijuana-eradication operations are an application of the MP AS, mobility, and L&O functions, thus providing realistic training while supporting an operation.

11-21. As discussed in previous chapters, the MP are well suited to augment customs operations. They routinely perform customs inspections for US forces in Korea and Germany. The NG MP regularly conduct vehicle, cargo, and container searches under the supervision of US Customs agents and at US ports of entry.

11-22. The USACIDC agents can provide support to counterdrug operations. The CID units identify the sources of illegal-drug distribution systems. When directed, the MP and the CID complement interagency counterdrug efforts to stop the production, flow, and distribution of drugs and to provide planning, training, equipment, and facilities to support domestic counterdrug operations. The CID also supports CRIMINTEL programs, internal security, and site surveys at borders where Army units will deploy. In addition to the aforementioned support, the DOD General Counsel has ruled that MWD teams can be loaned to DLEAs to assist in detecting smuggled contraband.


11-23. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the lead federal agency for dealing with acts of terrorism within the US, its territories, and its possessions. Within the DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has the lead. The FBI can train the police of friendly nations in antiterrorism and counterterrorism operations. Usually, US military forces act in a technical-advisory but not a law-enforcement capacity in combating acts of terrorism. It is often difficult to distinguish the acts of politically motivated terrorists from violent acts of criminals or individuals in society at large. In fact, all terrorist acts are criminal; however, they also may be part of an insurgency.

11-24. The MP are key players in the defensive planning, implementation, and control of combating-terrorism operations, whether in garrison or deployed to war or MOOTW. In whatever countries US forces operate, MP units conduct antiterrorism operations daily as part of their L&O and AS functions. The MP also respond to terrorist incidents. They help secure the area and search for evidence, and they help the lead agency. The MP provide advice and assistance in developing antiterrorism and counterterrorism programs for deployed US forces and DOS agencies and for police, paramilitary, and military forces of assisted nations (when so authorized). MP training, liaison, and joint patrols help strengthen HN-police organizations, improving their effectiveness and efficiency in combating terrorism. The MP also assist HN police in performing PRC operations.

11-25. The training of police (domestic and foreign) requires DA approval, and restrictions exist on some forms of training. Legal advice and coordination are a must before training can occur. The MP and the CID provide personnel and equipment for planning, advising, equipping, and training agencies to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorism. The training focuses on deterring terrorist acts such as bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, taking hostages, and hijackings. Related assistance may include training and equipment for explosive detection, management of hostage situations, physical security, protection of key personnel, and defensive/evasive driving methods. For counterterrorism operations on US military installations, the MP provide highly trained, specially equipped SRTs for situations requiring the selective use of force. Additionally, CID agents are highly trained in hostage negotiation, which increases the commander's options before resorting to force.

11-26. The MP and the CID assist in counterterrorism information-gathering activities through liaison and joint patrols with HN police. These activities are part of the PIO function. The MP have extensive contacts with civilian police, who in turn have contacts with the populace. These contacts can help surface criminal information concerning terrorist plans, recruitment, and support structures sooner than military sources. The CID can provide commanders with CRIMINTEL on a daily basis. At the same time, MP antiterrorism support includes measures to reduce the vulnerability of people and property. Such measures include—

  • Personal awareness.
  • Personal-protection operations and techniques.
  • Crime prevention.
  • Physical-security programs.

11-27. The MP and CID crime-prevention programs employ proactive measures to protect people and their property and US and HN property. Crime prevention is a continuous process of planning, implementing measures, evaluating effectiveness, modifying measures, and developing further information. The primary crime-prevention tool is the crime-prevention survey. It is used to examine the physical features of various critical sites. The MP physical-security programs help identify, reduce, eliminate, or neutralize conditions favorable to criminal, terrorist, and insurgent activities. The key measures used to accomplish this are physical-security inspections and surveys.


11-28. Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs) relocate civilians who are endangered in a foreign nation. The NEOs are classified as benign (unopposed) or hostile (opposed). MP roles in support to NEOs differ accordingly. In a benign environment, NEOs are usually conducted with the help and full cooperation of the affected nation, with little or no opposition to evacuation. The use of force is limited to self-defense (as outlined by the ROE) and protection of the evacuees. In a hostile environment, NEOs are opposed by forces with specific intentions of preventing or destroying the operation. In this scenario, the MP will follow the ROE as established by higher headquarters.

11-29. MP operations in NEOs closely parallel EPW/CI evacuation operations. The objective of both is to safely collect, secure, protect, transport, process, and account for people, whether they are EPWs or noncombatants. However, due to the dissimilarities of these groups, the techniques employed differ.

11-30. The MP can secure selected facilities, reception and transfer points, or other locations required to collect, process, and evacuate people. They can provide route reconnaissance and mobile security teams to escort HRP, DOS personnel, evacuees, and sensitive material. If needed, MP units assist civil-affairs personnel with the movement and control of dislocated civilians. The MP may support civil affairs by setting up and operating evacuation sites, holding areas for foreign nationals denied evacuation, and reception and processing stations. This support can be provided by MP CS units for a short duration and by MP I/R units for a prolonged duration. Additionally, the MP will establish and maintain liaison with HN police to ensure a mutual understanding of jurisdiction, to coordinate efforts, and to provide criminal and tactical intelligence. In hostile environments requiring the employment of combat forces, the MP would be employed in their traditional CS role.


11-31. Security-assistance operations are one of the main tools of US foreign policy. A critical concern in these operations is the HN's ability to plan and manage its own defense resources. In security-assistance operations, the US provides defense materiel, military training, and defense-related services through grants, loans, credit, or cash sales. When authorized, the MP support security assistance with military and police training through the International Military Education and Training Program (IMETP). This program provides instruction and training to foreign military and civilian personnel on a grant/aid basis. Many foreign civil law-enforcement agencies request training in the following areas:

  • Basic police procedures (such as patrolling and crime-scene protection).
  • Physical security.
  • Corrections.
  • Civil-disturbance operations.
  • Customs operations.
  • Traffic control.
  • Use of force.

11-32. The MP possess the expertise and experience to advise, train, and assist a HN's military and police forces. The MP's participation in the IMETP includes—

  • Formal and informal instruction of foreign students.
  • Technical education and tactical training with applicable training aids.
  • Assistance to foreign police and military elements by MP mobile training teams (MTTs).
  • Providing MP units or small, modular, functionally specific teams to support security-assistance needs. These teams can train HN police in both field and institutional facilities.
  • Support to nation-assistance operations.

11-33. Nation-assistance operations support a nation's effort to promote development, ideally by using its national resources. This is achieved through education and the transfer of essential skills to the HN. The goals of such operations are to—

  • Promote long-term regional stability.
  • Develop sound and responsive democratic institutions.
  • Develop supportive infrastructures.
  • Promote an environment that allows for orderly political change and economic progress.

11-34. The MP support nation-assistance operations with training and joint MP and HN-police operations. The MP know and understand police operations, military operations, and C 2 procedures. Consequently, the MP are ideal for training the law-enforcement personnel in both field and institutional settings. The MP's nation-assistance goals are to—

  • Enhance L&O in democratic societies.
  • Improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Promote the proper usage and maintenance of equipment.
  • Establish a sound training base for police.
  • Standardize procedures that enhance combined police operations.
  • Promote friendship and goodwill toward the US.
  • Preclude the need for US military interventions to counter acts of violence.

11-35. Combined police operations reinforce training and provide HN police with mobility, security, and communications to operate more effectively while conserving critical personnel resources. The MP provide support through training and the following:

  • Law-enforcement, security, and criminal-information support to the HN police force (to include L&O operations and administration in a democratic society).
  • Patrol and desk operations.
  • Circulation-control operations.
  • PRC and civil-disturbance operations.
  • MWDs.
  • Physical-security operations.
  • Personnel-security operations.
  • Area- and route-security operations.
  • Counterdrug operations.
  • Antiterrorism operations.
  • Mass immigration operations.
  • Customs and border operations.
  • Confinement operations.
  • Crime prevention.
  • Community and police relations.
  • C 2 of police operations.

11-36. When conducting nation-assistance operations, as well as other operations, the MP will often be tasked to support civil-affairs operations. Close coordination with the G5/S5 and liaison with the appropriate HN representatives have added emphasis to these types of operations. The scope of civil-affairs operations is influenced by the economic, social, psychological, and political background of the country and its people. Civil-affairs personnel will coordinate the MP's effort to restore stability, contribute to national development, and promote support for the host government. Civil-affairs personnel assist in preventing civilian interference with military operations and coordinate all other military and civil affairs (such as community relations, PRC, civil defense, and community- and area-security programs).

11-37. The MP can conduct ADC measures to assist the HN in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster. They help rescue and evacuate the injured for medical care, and they issue food, water, and essential supplies (See FM 41-10).


11-38. Peacekeeping operations (PKOs) are military operations conducted with the consent of the belligerents in a conflict. The PKOs are intended to maintain negotiated truces and to facilitate diplomatic solutions. The US may participate in a PKO under the auspices of an international organization, in cooperation with other countries, or unilaterally. A PKO usually occurs in an ambiguous situation in which there is extreme tension and the possibility of violence. This violence may range from terrorism and sabotage to minor military conflicts involving known and unknown belligerents. MP forces may serve as an element of a UN peacekeeping force or as part of a multinational observer group. The overall operational control of a peacekeeping force is exercised by a multinationally staffed military peacekeeping command. However, the commander of each assigned national force retains command integrity of his unit.

11-39. The basic MP force structure and appropriate augmentation are situation dependent. The size and composition of the MP forces are determined by diplomatic negotiations. Personnel spaces are allocated based on the US contingents' respective missions. The principle of consent affects the composition and function of the peacekeeping force. Consent applies to the degree of interest the disputing countries have when contributing their forces to participate in the peacekeeping effort.

11-40. Each PKO is unique but is generally characterized by constraints in the use of force. In a PKO, force is normally limited to self-defense, the defense of others, and the protection of national security. Therefore, the soldiers in a PKO must possess the skills required for warfare, but they must also be trained so that they are equally able to act as intermediaries. In this aspect, the MP are a distinct asset. They are experienced in a case-by-case approach to the use of force. They are experienced in using discretion and in the de-escalation of potential violence. The MP training in EPW operations are especially useful in handling EPWs if the peacekeeping force supervises the exchange of prisoners of war.

11-41. The peacekeeping force employs a combination of the following techniques to control the potential for violence inherent to PKOs:

  • Observation is the peacekeeping force's primary responsibility and basic requirement. It provides timely and accurate reports of any suspicious situation, incident, or occurrence.
  • Information gathering is a continuous requirement. Peacekeepers must be constantly alert to what takes place around them and to any changes or inconsistencies in the behavior, attitude, and activities of military and civilian personnel.
  • Surveillance and supervision operations help oversee the implementation of agreements. The operations require restraint, tact, and patience.
  • Complaint investigations must be thorough and objective, and they must result in a fair assessment.
  • Negotiation and mediation skills are often required of peacekeepers. If peacekeepers can resolve minor problems at the lowest level, they can prevent major issues from rising, which may prevent increased tensions or the resumption of fighting.
  • Patrolling (mounted and dismounted) among the population publicizes presence. It also serves as a means of gathering information, informally enhancing supervision, and investigating complaints.

11-42. The above techniques are compatible with MP battlefield functions. Operationally, the MP conduct route and area R&S, operate mounted or dismounted patrols, operate listening/observation posts, provide humanitarian assistance, investigate possible terrorist and criminal acts and cease-fire and sanction violations, and gather information. The MP provide a flexible, wide-ranging means of information dissemination. Additionally, they provide crucial support for force protection. The MP and the CID employ active and passive measures to deter and defeat threats directed at service members, their families, DOD civilians, facilities, equipment, and very important persons (VIPs). The MP use emerging technologies in force protection to conduct security, detection, and identification operations and to warn of intruders.

11-43. As part of a PKO, the MP conduct crowd- and riot-control operations, including the extraction of mob leaders. The MP are an ideal force for controlling antagonistic masses engaged in rioting, looting, and demonstrating. The MP understand how to make the transition from the lower end of the use-of-force spectrum to the use of lethal force, if so required or directed. Finally, the MP deploying with peacekeeping forces can provide early-on force protection, including headquarters and initial aerial port/seaport of debarkation (APOD/SPOD) security. The MP's mobility, firepower, and communications provide critical reconnaissance, information-collection, and response-force capabilities and acceptability not found in combat forces.

11-44. When conducting crowd- and riot-control operations in a PKO or peace-enforcement operation (PEO), nonlethal weapons (NLWs) are an additional means of employing force for the purpose of limiting the probability of death or serious injury to noncombatants or belligerents. However, the use of lethal force must always remain an inherent right of individuals in instances when they, their fellow soldiers, or personnel in their charge are threatened with death or serious bodily harm. The NLWs add flexibility to the control of disturbances by providing an environment where military forces can permissively engage threatening targets with limited risk of noncombatant casualties and collateral damage (see FM 90-40).

11-45. The use of lethal force (employed under the standing ROE) will never be denied. At no time will forces be deployed without the ability to defend themselves against a lethal threat nor will they forego normal training, arming, and equipping for combat. Nonlethal options are a complement to, not a replacement for lethal force. They seek to expand a proactive response across the range of military operations.

11-46. The decision to use NLWs against an adversary during a confrontation should be delegated to the lowest possible level, preferably to the platoon or squad. However, this requires that all personnel (not just leaders) have a clear understanding of the ROE and the commander's intent.

11-47. Commanders and public-affairs officers must be prepared to address media questions and concerns regarding the use and role of NLWs. They must be prepared to address the role of NLWs, and they must make it clear that the presence of NLWs in no way indicates abandoning the option to employ deadly force in appropriate circumstances.

11-48. The PEOs are in the high end of the PKO's spectrum. These operations are just short of combat and require a different operational approach. MP operations to support PEOs correspond to MP battlefield functions supporting combat forces. The PEOs often pose special operational considerations for dealing with dislocated civilians. The MP provide PRC operations and I/R, when required.


11-49. MP units are well suited for stability and support operations given their unique capabilities and low force signature. The MP brigade, battalion, company, and I/R units may be tailored for stability and support operations based on their unique METT-TC.


11-50. In essence, the organization and capabilities of the MP organization in stability and support operations is the same as those for other operations. However, its augmentation is tailored based on METT-TC unique to stability and support operations and the commander's needs. The MP brigade has been the centerpiece of successful MP deployment during previous stability and support operations. The MP brigade provides comprehensive planning, C 2 , and A/L support to assigned and attached subordinate units. The brigade also has the command and staff experience to coordinate and supervise HN security and law-enforcement activities.

11-51. The MP brigade headquarters provides senior MP leadership and the communications capabilities required to direct a variety of functional elements—CSS, PSYOP, public affairs, and combat-arms augmentation—in support of joint or unilateral TF operations. At authorized level of organization (ALO) 1, the MP brigade headquarters has an SJA section to coordinate the legal and jurisdictional issues inherent to stability and support operations. The brigade headquarters also has an S5 section and a liaison capability to coordinate support and assistance to HN agencies, friendly forces, other US forces, DOS personnel, and nongovernmental or private volunteer organizations.

11-52. The MP brigade TF (MPBTF), with its robust capabilities and low force signature, is well suited for the unique mission requirements and sensitivities of stability and support operations. The MPBTF can be employed as part of a combat TF in high-threat, opposed-entry operations or as the lead TF for a low-threat, unopposed-entry operation. The following are examples of previous MPBTFs and the operations in which they participated:

  • Operation Provide Comfort. The 18th MP Brigade deployed to northern Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to the Kurds.
  • JTF Los Angeles. The 49th MP Brigade (NG) provided civil-disturbance assistance to Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Rodney King trial.
  • Operation Hawkeye. The 16th MP Brigade and units of the 89th MP Brigade provided security, protection, and humanitarian assistance to the population of Saint Croix in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo.
  • JTF Andrew. The 16th MP Brigade provided humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
  • Operation Sea Signal. The 89th MP Brigade deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to provide humanitarian assistance to Haitian migrants.
  • Operation Restore Democracy. The 16th MP Brigade deployed to Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance.

11-53. Early deployments of the MPBTF headquarters or a mission-tailored portion of the headquarters positions a senior, effective MP C 2 headquarters to respond to all MP requirements. It can assist in the coordination with the media, governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and other forces, and it can coordinate civil-military aspects of the operation. The MP brigade headquarters can assimilate and employ additional forces without degrading operations. The augmentation of brigade headquarters is driven by METT-TC. With the brigade headquarters in place, subordinate or supporting units can be significantly expanded without the loss of C 2 . In essence, little or no loss in operational momentum occurs when the C 2 element deploys first.

11-54. The MP LRP section of the MP brigade headquarters colocates and works with the higher headquarters' G3/Operations Directorate (J3) plans element. This allows the MP LRP to incorporate MP operations effectively into higher-level planning, and it enables an efficient transition to field operations. Also, because in peacetime this section functions as a PM cell, it provides the PM with efficient and effective technical support during stability and support operations. As the operations approach termination or enter sustainability and fewer forces are required, the brigade headquarters can redeploy, leaving a battalion TF in charge of MP forces.


11-55. The MP battalion (CS) provides command, control, and support for assigned MP companies (CS). MP battalions (CS) are best employed as part of a TF—either as part of a combat TF (high threat, opposed) or a support TF (low threat, unopposed). With sufficient augmentation, the battalion can provide the logistical, administrative, personnel, and operational support needed to lead a diverse TF. During stability and support operations, an MP battalion TF may be placed under the OPCON of a brigade-size TF (MP or non-MP) or a division TF. If placed under the OPCON of a division TF, both the division PM and the MP battalion commander will synchronize their efforts to maximize the employment of available divisional and nondivisional MP assets in support of the division commander's concept of operations.

11-56. As with the MPBTF, the MP battalion's contributions to stability and support operations are not a new concept. The following are examples of previous battalion TFs and the operations in which they were involved:

  • Cuban Refugee Movement. The 519th, 716th, 720th, and 759th MP Battalions deployed for humanitarian-assistance operations.
  • Operations Restore Hope and Continued Hope. The 720th MP Battalion provided humanitarian assistance in Somalia.
  • Operation Sea Signal. The 720th MP Battalion deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to conduct humanitarian-assistance operations for Haitian migrants. Later, the 716th and 759th MP Battalions also deployed to Guantanamo Bay to perform like functions for the Cubans.


11-57. The MP company is the MP Corps's primary mission performer. It executes a wide variety of missions. In these operations, MP companies—

  • Provide mobility support for both vehicles and personnel.
  • Provide AS, including security for critical personnel, sites, cargoes, and railways.
  • Secure, safeguard, shelter, and control detainees and dislocated civilians.
  • Restore order in civil disturbances and conduct PRC operations.
  • Carry out limited L&O operations.
  • Provide liaison, coordination, and training for all aspects of law enforcement to other agencies.
  • Conduct police-intelligence collections and disseminate information to the populace, friendly forces, and other HN agencies.
  • Support force protection and security.

11-58. The MP company possesses robust mobility, lethality, and communications. Each of the MP companies' three-man teams are equipped with either a high-mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), an up-armored HMMWV, or an armored security vehicle (ASV); an AN/VRC 91 radio; a Light-Vehicle Obscuration Smoke System (LVOSS); an MK-19 grenade machine gun; a squad automatic weapon (SAW); two M-16 or M-4 rifles; an M203 grenade launcher; and a 9-millimeter pistol as a side arm for each team member. In addition to conducting combat operations, the MP company commander has the capability to conduct limited L&O operations (desk and investigative operations). With a tremendous operational reach, the MP company will displace its platoons as far as possible to accomplish all of the MP functions.


11-59. The MP I/R units are specifically equipped and trained to support, safeguard, account for, and provide proper and humane treatment for EPWs/CIs, US military prisoners, or dislocated civilians. When conducting dislocated-civilian operations, the MP I/R units support and interact with civil-affairs and PSYOP units who are responsible for monitoring and handling dislocated civilians. Should more than one category of personnel have to be supported, the MP I/R units will establish separate compounds for each to preclude contact with other populations. When operation of the facility is going to be more than a short-term endeavor, the intent is to involve (as appropriate) NGOs, IHOs, HN authorities, and dislocated civilians in the administration of the facility. The tasks performed by MP I/R units for stability and support operations are basically the same as those for war, but the operations and procedures are modified according to the operational environment and the categories of people to be housed in the facility (see FM 19-40).

11-60. Criminal detainees (who are detained against their will) are subject to controls and procedures that closely parallel those used for EPWs/CIs. The primary emphasis is on guarding and preventing escape until their disposition is determined by recognized civilian judicial/law-enforcement authorities. When the operation is conducted outside of the US and its territories, criminal detainees are treated according to established legal procedures.

11-61. Dislocated civilians (who are being assisted rather than detained) are provided aid, shelter, and protection. The emphasis is on protecting them from harm by natural forces or hostile personnel. A special category of personnel arises when the MP I/R unit is required to house personnel that are dislocated civilians but who must be detained against their will. Such is the case of mass migrants who flee their countries and find themselves under US custody while formal proceeding guidance is being developed. In this case, MP I/R units must be sensitive to the situation and attempt to strike a balance between security, shelter, protection, and detention procedures.

11-62. Military detainees (who are detained against their will) are subject to controls and procedures that closely parallel those used for EPWs/CIs. In stability and support operations, US forces detain opposing-force military personnel. Without a formal declaration of war, opposing military personnel who are captured cannot be categorized as EPWs. However, they are afforded many of the EPW's rights and privileges under the Geneva convention. Such a situation occurred during Operation Just Cause when PDF personnel were detained by US forces.

11-63. In an operational environment in which hostile groups are engaged against one another, an I/R facility may be set up to protect one group from another. In this case, the facility's purpose is to shelter, sustain, account for, and protect its dislocated civilians from the hostile group. The MP I/R units and other supporting units concentrate on providing AS to protect the facility from direct fire. Other MP or combat forces provide protections beyond the direct-fire zone. Accountability for the dislocated civilians is coordinated with the SJA and civil affairs. They focus on maintaining a record of the people in the facility and their physical conditions. In operations in which no hostile groups are engaged (such as natural disasters), the I/R facility may be set up to provide shelter, sustain, and account for personnel. There may not be a need for external security personnel.

11-64. The MP I/R C2 structure for stability and support operations is based on METT-TC. The nature and complexity of the mission, the number and types of detainees, and the operational duration should be considered. At one end of the operations spectrum, an MP brigade (I/R) may be required; while at the other end, an MP battalion (I/R) may be assigned to an MP brigade (CS).

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