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Chapter 4

Military Police Functions

Military police support the Army commander's mission to win the battle. They help the commander shape the battlefield so that he can conduct decisive operations to destroy enemy forces, large or small, wherever and whenever the Army is sent to war.
MAJ(P) Anthony Cruz

The MP Corps supports shaping and sustainment operations while performing its five basic functions as a flexible, economy-of-force organization. Through these functions, MP units are able to provide the commander with an array of CS operations across the full spectrum of military operations (see Table 4-1).

Table 4-1. MP Functions









Support to river-crossing and breaching operations and passage of lines

Straggler and dislocated-civilian control

Route R&S

MSR regulation enforcement

Recon operations


Base/air-base defense

Response-force/TCF operations

Critical site, asset, and HRP security

Force protection/physical security


IPB support


Active and passive roles

Information collection and dissemination

Joint, interagency, and multinational coordination

Law enforcement

Criminal investigations

US Customs operations

Related L&O training

EPW/CI handling

US military prisoner handling

Populace and resource control

Dislocated civilians

NOTE: Subtasks not all-inclusive.


4-1. MP assets are limited. Specific functions are performed at any given time and are determined by the supported commander's need, the intensity of the conflict, and the availability of MP resources. The supported commander, through the command's PM, sets the priorities for MP operations.

4-2. The PM (based on METT-TC and the available assets) continuously evaluates the trade-off between the MP support that the commander requires and the MP support that can be provided. To meet the priorities set by the commander's tactical plan, the PM recommends the allocation and employment of MP assets for MP combat, CS, and CSS operations.


4-3. The MMS function involves numerous measures and actions necessary to support the commander's freedom of movement in his AOR. The MP expedite the forward and lateral movement of combat resources and ensure that commanders get forces, supplies, and equipment when and where they are needed. This is particularly important in the modern battlefield where there is a greater geographical dispersal of forces and lengthened LOC.

4-4. The MP maintain the security and viability of the strategic and tactical LOC to ensure that the commander can deploy and employ his forces. The MP support the commander and help expedite military traffic by operating traffic-control posts (TCPs), defilades, or mobile patrols; erecting route signs on MSRs or alternate supply routes (ASRs); or conducting a reconnaissance for bypassed or additional routes. The MP move all units quickly and smoothly with the least amount of interference possible.

4-5. As part of the MMS function, the MP support river-crossing operations, breaching operations, and a passage of lines. They also provide straggler control, dislocated-civilian control, route reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S), and MSR regulation enforcement.


4-6. US forces conduct river-crossing operations to move a large force across a river obstacle with a minimum loss of momentum. The MP play a vital role by assisting the force commander in crossing the river as quickly and efficiently as possible. The crossing is usually planned and conducted by the headquarters directing the crossing. As such, a division crossing operation is conducted by a corps. Whether a brigade or division is crossing, the division MP company may also cross to provide uninterrupted support to the division. In these instances, there is a total reliance on the corps MP to support the crossing. The same is true for breaching operations and a passage of lines.

4-7. MP support for river-crossing operations reduces the crossing time and promotes the efficient movement of vehicles. It reduces congestion, speeds the crossing, and enables the maneuver commander to continue his momentum toward his primary objective. The MP establishes staging and holding areas and TCPs to control movement to and from these areas (according to the traffic-control plan). The MP may be called on to provide security for crossing forces at the crossing sites. In most cases, the MP TCPs and engineer regulation points (ERPs) are located on both sides of the river to improve communications and coordination between the units.

4-8. MP employment for river crossing is influenced by METT-TC. The number and placement of MP assets supporting a river-crossing operation varies with the size of the crossing force, the direction of the crossing (forward or retrograde), and the degree of enemy resistance expected or encountered.

4-9. The MP operating inside the crossing areas are OPCON to the crossing-area commander for the duration of the operation. The MP operating outside of the crossing area are under the command of their appropriate echelon commander.

4-10. The main thrust of MP support to river-crossing operations is within the immediate river-crossing site. The MP direct units to their proper locations (such as holding areas and staging areas) and ensure that units move through the area within the time listed on the movement schedule. This is a highly critical aspect of river crossing because the number of crossing sites is limited. MP assets are placed where they can stress MMS operations on MSRs leading into the crossing area.

4-11. The MP also provide AS to allow crossing forces to cross the river without losing momentum or forces. On both near and far sides, the MP are used to recon the crossing unit's flanks and rear to enhance security (see FM 19-4).


4-12. Breaching operations are conducted to allow forces to maneuver through obstacles. Obstacle breaching is the employment of a combination of tactics and techniques to advance an attacking force to the farside of an obstacle that may be covered by fire. It is perhaps the most difficult combat task a force can encounter. Breaching operations begin when friendly forces detect an obstacle, and they end when the battle handover has occurred between the follow-on forces and a unit conducting the breaching operation (see FM 90-13-1).

4-13. The MP support breaching operations in numerous ways. MP assets are employed based on METT-TC, the available resources, and the commander's priorities. As a minimum, MP support may include, but is not limited to—

  • Establishing TCPs along routes leading to or departing from the breaching site.
  • Establishing holding areas.
  • Establishing TCPs at the breaching site.
  • Assisting engineers with temporary route signs.
  • Establishing straggler-control operations.
  • Conducting AS operations.

4-14. The most critical MP support is provided at the breaching site. The MP provide the commander with a means to control traffic flow to appropriate lanes. When multiple lanes branch off of a single far-recognition marker, the MP assist in directing the formation through various lanes. They also assist in modifying the traffic flow when lanes have been closed for maintenance or expansion. The MP conduct close coordination with the crossing-force commander and the TF commander executing the breaching operation. The MP enable the commander to make last-minute changes in traffic flow, thereby giving him increased flexibility to react to the enemy situation.


4-15. A passage of lines is an operation in which a force moves forward or rearward through another force's combat positions with the intention of moving into or out of contact with the enemy. The passage of lines is a high-risk military operation that requires close coordination between the passing unit, the stationary unit, and the MP providing the support.

4-16. The MP help reduce confusion and congestion during a passage of lines. They provide security in areas surrounding passage points and passage lanes to ensure that the passing unit has priority for using routes to and through the areas. The headquarters directing the operations sets the route's priority. The MP can support a forward, rearward, or lateral passage of lines. Before the actual operation, the MP in the AO conduct an area or zone reconnaissance to become familiar with the routes to, through, and beyond the area of passage. This enables the MP to extend the commander's C 2 by providing directions at passage points and by guiding the units through the passing lanes. Maintaining unit integrity and reducing incidents of stragglers is vital to maintaining the passing unit's momentum in a forward passage of lines. The MP perform aggressive straggler- and dislocated-civilian-control operations to prevent possible infiltration of the enemy.

4-17. A passage of lines is usually planned and coordinated by the headquarters directing the passage. A division's passage of lines is planned and coordinated by the corps headquarters. The detailed plans are made and coordinated between the divisions involved. Close coordination between the division and corps PMs is essential. An MP unit may be the unit involved in passing through the lines of another unit. When conducting a delay of a Level II threat, the MP are likely to conduct a passage of lines with the TCF. To avoid fratricide, close coordination between the MP response-force commander and the TCF is imperative (see FM 19-4).


4-18. Mobile patrols, TCPs, and checkpoint teams return stragglers to military control as part of their operations. Most stragglers are simply persons who become separated from their command by events in the CZ or while moving through the COMMZ. If a straggler is ill, wounded, or in shock, an MP must give him first aid and, if needed, call for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). If a straggler is uninjured, an MP directs him to his parent unit or to a replacement unit (as command policies dictate). The MP ensure that stragglers attempting to avoid return to their units are escorted back to their command (as a minimum).

4-19. The MP set up special posts for straggler control following NBC attacks or major enemy breakthroughs that result in large numbers of lost, dazed, and confused military personnel. Mobile MP teams operate between posts, and they also direct or collect stragglers. Straggler collection points may be needed if many stragglers are present in a combat theater. If allied forces are present in the theater, each nation establishes a collection point for its own personnel. MP teams are aware of each allied location and are prepared to assist allied soldiers in returning to their respective command. The MP use available transportation assets to transfer stragglers from TCPs and checkpoints to a straggler collection point. At the collection point, they are screened and sorted for removal to a medical facility or returned to their units to reconstitute the tactical commander's combat force.

4-20. The MP report information about stragglers with whom they come in contact. This information is compiled by the MP headquarters and forwarded through appropriate channels to the higher command. Information given by stragglers that is of immediate tactical value is reported without delay.


4-21. The MP expediting traffic on MSRs may encounter dislocated civilians that could hinder military traffic. The MP assist and divert dislocated civilians from MSRs and other areas to I/R facilities. They may also deny the movement of civilians whose location, direction of movement, or actions may be a threat to themselves or to the combat operation. The HN government is responsible for identifying routes for the safe movement of dislocated civilians out of an AO. If needed, the MP assist the civil-affairs unit and the HN in redirecting dislocated civilians to alternate routes established by the HN government.

4-22. The US forces do not assume control of dislocated civilians unless requested to do so by the HN or unless operating in an environment with a hostile government. When the senior US commander assumes responsibility, the MP coordinate with civil affairs to set up TCPs at critical points along the route to direct dislocated civilians to secondary roadways and areas not used by military forces. As required, MWD teams may be used as a show of force or as a deterrent to assist with uncooperative personnel.


4-23. The MP conduct hasty and deliberate route reconnaissances to obtain information on a route and nearby terrain from which the enemy can influence troop movement. A route reconnaissance focuses on continually monitoring the condition of MSRs, ASRs, and other areas. MP patrols look for restricting terrain, effects of weather on the route, damage to the route, NBC contamination, and enemy presence or absence. When enemy activity is spotted, the MP report it, maintain surveillance, and develop the situation. To gather information for proposed traffic plans, they look at the type and number of available routes; and they check load classifications, route widths, obstructions, and restrictions.


4-24. The MP undertake MSR regulation enforcement to keep the routes free for DSS operations. MP units support the command's MSR regulation measures as stated in the traffic-regulation plan (TRP). The TRP contains specific measures to ensure the smooth and efficient use of the road network. It assigns military route numbers and names, the direction of travel, highway regulation points, and preplanned MP TCPs. Most importantly to the MP, it gives the route's control classification. The MP ensure that classified routes are used only by authorized traffic. Vehicles traveling on roads too narrow for their passage or on roads unable to support their weight can obstruct the route.

4-25. To expedite traffic on MSRs, the MP operate special circulation control measures such as—

  • Temporary route signing.
  • Static posts such as TCPs, roadblocks, checkpoints, holding areas, and defilades at critical points.
  • Mobile teams patrolling between static posts and monitoring traffic and road conditions.

4-26. They also gather information on friendly and enemy activities and help stranded vehicles and crews. The MP also place temporary route signs to warn of hazards or to guide drivers unfamiliar with the route. Using these measures, the MP exercise jurisdiction over the road network in the AO and coordinate with the HN (whenever possible) to expedite movement on MSRs.


4-27. The MP perform the AS function to protect the force and to enhance the freedom of units to conduct their assigned missions. The MP who provide AS play a key role in supporting forces in rear-area and sustainment operations. The MP are a response force that delays and defeats enemy attempts to disrupt or demoralize military operations in the AO. The MP's mobility makes it possible for them to detect the threat as they aggressively patrol the AO, MSRs, key terrain, and critical assets. The MP's organic communications enable them to advise the appropriate headquarters, bases, base clusters, and moving units of impending enemy activities. With organic firepower, the MP are capable of engaging in decisive operations against a Level II threat and delaying (shaping) a Level III threat until commitment of the TCF.

4-28. Throughout all aspects of the AS function, the MP perform counteractions to protect the force and to prevent or defeat a Level II threat operating within the MP's AO. MP countermeasures may include implementing vulnerability assessments, developing procedures to detect terrorist actions before they occur, hardening likely targets, and conducting offensive operations to destroy the enemy. The MP use checkpoints and roadblocks to control the movement of vehicles, personnel, and materiel and to prevent illegal actions that may aid the enemy. The use of these control measures serves as a deterrence to terrorist activities, saboteurs, and other threats. However, at the same time, checkpoints and roadblocks expose the MP to these potential threats. To counter this fact, the MP may upgrade or harden vehicles and defensive positions.

4-29. The MP provide combat power to protect the C 2 headquarters, equipment, and services essential for mission success. The MP provide the battlefield commander with a light, mobile fighting force that can move, shoot, and communicate against any threat. Major subtasks associated with the AS function include reconnaissance operations; area damage control (ADC); base/air-base defense; response-force operations; and critical site, asset, and high-risk personnel (HRP) security.


4-30. As part of their AS mission, the MP serve as the eyes and ears of the battlefield commander by seeking out the enemy and reporting information obtained by recon patrols. The MP conduct area and zone reconnaissances, screening, surveillance, and countersurveillance to gain information to help guard against unexpected enemy attacks in the AO. The MP monitor likely avenues of approach and potential LZs and DZs. They become familiar with towns and other populated areas, ridgelines, woods, and other terrain features from which the enemy can influence movements along road networks. The MP pay close attention to areas near facilities designated critical by the commander. These areas include key MSR bridges and tunnels, depots, terminals, logistics-support bases, ammunition supply points (ASPs), communications centers/nodes, and C 2 headquarters. The MWD teams provide explosive detection and personnel detection/tracking capabilities that enhance reconnaissance operations (especially in urban terrain).


4-31. MP units take measures to support ADC before, during, and after hostile actions or natural and man-made disasters. The ADC actions integrate CS and CSS functions for many units. Engineers, medical personnel, and Army aviators work closely to ensure quick relief operations. The MP provide MSR regulation enforcement, refugee control, and some local security when required. As with reconnaissance operations, the MP may use MWD explosive-and personnel-detection capabilities to augment all MP missions in rear-area and sustainment operations.


4-32. The MP are the base and base-cluster commanders' links for detection, early warning, and employment against enemy attacks. The information gathered is dispersed throughout the rear area to help apprise the commander of enemy activities near bases. Base defense is the cornerstone of rear-area security. When the threat exceeds the base/base-cluster capability, the base/base-cluster commander requests MP assistance through the appropriate C 2 element.

4-33. Air-base defense requires special MP coordination with the US Air Force (USAF). The MP treat air bases like any other base or base cluster. A USAF air base may house the base-cluster commander, or it may be a cluster by itself. The MP are responsible for the air base's external defense. Its internal defense is primarily the responsibility of the Air Force's security forces. The security force provides in-depth defense for weapons, weapons systems, command centers, personnel, and other priority resources established by the base commander.

4-34. The security force is trained and equipped to detect, delay, and deny Level I and II threats. If a Level III threat is present, the security force is tasked with delaying actions; however, the HN, a sister service, or other support must be employed to defeat this threat. If the security force requires assistance to defeat a Level II threat, it may rely on MP response forces or another response force to assist in the defense. If available, the MP response force will react to the air-base defense, just as it would for any other base or base cluster within the MP's AO. However, the key to successful MP employment depends on the critical exchange of information before and during the MP employment. Good communications, an understanding of the defense plan, and liaison operations are vital in preventing responding forces from entering a situation that could result in fratricide.


4-35. The MP are the base and base-cluster commanders' response force against enemy attacks in rear-area or sustainment operations. The MP gather information about the enemy while performing missions throughout the AO. This information provides commanders with enemy activity near bases. When needed, the MP provide a mobile response force to respond to bases under attack and to destroy the enemy. A base commander's defense plan is the cornerstone for protecting rear-area and sustainment operations. The base commander is responsible for defeating all Level I threats. When this threat exceeds his capabilities, he requests MP support. The MP located near bases or patrolling or conducting AS operations consolidate their forces, respond as quickly as possible, and conduct combat operations to destroy the enemy. If needed, the MP conduct a battle handover to the TCF.

4-36. MP forces performing as a response force are capable of conducting the following offensive operations:

  • A movement to contact.
  • A hasty ambush.
  • A hasty attack.
  • A delay.
  • A call for fire.
  • A repel attack against critical sites.
  • A defense of critical sites.

4-37. To conduct these missions, the MP consolidate into squads or platoons to delay, defeat, or defend against the threat. See FMs 71-3 and 71-100 for more information on battle-handover operations.


4-38. The MP perform their AS function across the entire designated AO. When the MP provide security around a critical site or asset, they usually provide a mobile security screen, taking advantage of its weapons and communications platforms. This standoff protection detects and defeats the threat before it can move within direct-fire range of the facilities. The MP may be tasked to provide detail security to key facilities, assets, and personnel.

4-39. The MP provide security to major CPs and other facilities within the AO. Their employment maximizes mobility, lethality, and communications capabilities as a security screen. They may be required to establish local AS measures (such as checkpoints and listening/observation posts) to further protect these facilities. The MP provide internal access-control points to critical facilities, and they act as a response force. When the critical CP relocates, the MP provide in-transit security. Other types of critical site security include ASPs; deep-water ports; petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) terminals and pipelines; trains and railways; and air bases.

4-40. The MP may provide convoy security for top-priority units transporting especially critical supplies to combat forces. MP assets should be employed primarily on aggressive patrolling, route, area, and zone reconnaissance measures that would create a safe and secure environment for all types of vehicular and unit movement.

4-41. The MP and the CID provide protective services to designated key personnel by providing access control to restricted areas within CPs, providing in-transit security, or providing static security measures around the clock. The MP coordinate with the CID when close-in protection of key personnel is needed. The MP and the CID also provide training for personal-protection countermeasures. The MWD teams may be employed to enhance MP and CID detection and protection capabilities.


4-42. The Army is the Department of Defense's (DOD's) executive agent for all EPW/CI operations. Additionally, the Army is DOD's executive agent for long-term confinement of US military prisoners. Within the Army and through the combatant commander, the MP are tasked with coordinating shelter, protection, accountability, and sustainment for EPWs/CIs. The I/R function addresses MP roles when dealing with EPWs/CIs, dislocated civilians, and US military prisoners.

4-43. The I/R function is of humane as well as tactical importance. In any conflict involving US forces, safe and humane treatment of EPWs/CIs is required by international law. Military actions on the modern battlefield will result in many EPWs/CIs. Entire units of enemy forces, separated and disorganized by the shock of intensive combat, may be captured. This can place a tremendous challenge on tactical forces and can significantly reduce the capturing unit's combat effectiveness. The MP support the battlefield commander by relieving him of the problem of handling EPWs/CIs with combat forces. The MP perform their I/R function of collecting, evacuating, and securing EPWs throughout the AO. In this process, the MP coordinate with MI to collect information that may be used in current or future operations.

4-44. Although the CS MP unit initially handles EPWs/CIs, modular MP (I/R) battalions with assigned MP guard companies and supporting MWD teams are equipped and trained to handle this mission for the long term. A properly configured modular MP (I/R) battalion can support, safeguard, account for, guard, and provide humane treatment for up to 4,000 EPWs/CIs; 8,000 dislocated civilians; or 1,500 US military prisoners.


4-45. The MP are tasked with collecting EPWs/CIs from combat units as far forward as possible. The MP operate collection points and holding areas to temporarily secure EPWs/CIs until they can be evacuated to the next higher echelon's holding area. The MP escort-guard company assigned to the MP brigade (I/R) evacuate the EPWs/CIs from the corps's holding area to the COMMZ's internment facilities. The MP safeguard and maintain accountability, protect, and provide humane treatment for all personnel under their care.

4-46. In a mature TO, MP (I/R) units process EPWs/CIs collected by MP teams and other units in the CZ. MP guard companies assigned to the MP (I/R) units guard EPWs/CIs at designated camps (see FM 19-40).


4-47. Populace and resource control (PRC) denies adversaries or insurgents access to the general population and resources. The MP supports civil-affairs personnel and the tactical commander in planning and conducting PRC programs employed during all military operations. These programs may consist of curfews, movement restrictions, resettling dislocated civilians, licensing, ration control, regulation enforcement, amnesty programs, inspecting facilities, and guarding humanitarian-assistance distributions. The MP also direct dislocated civilians to resettlement camps where they are cared for while NGOs work to coordinate their relocation.

4-48. The MP's security capability, acceptability, and interface with the populace make them suitable as the primary forces of choice in these operations. The MP I/R units are specifically designed to fill this need (see FM 41-10).


4-49. The MP detain, sustain, protect, and evacuate US military prisoners. Whenever possible, soldiers awaiting trial remain in their units, unless reasonable grounds exist to believe that they will not appear at the trial, the pretrial hearing, or the investigation or that they will engage in serious criminal misconduct. Under either of these two pretrial confinement instances, the commander must also reasonably believe that a less severe form of restraint (such as conditions of liberty, restriction in lieu of apprehension, or apprehension) are inadequate. When these circumstances exist and other legal requirements are met, US military personnel may be placed in pretrial confinement under the MP's direct control. Convicted military prisoners are moved as soon as possible to confinement facilities outside of the AO.

4-50. MP confinement operations parallel (but are separate from) the MP's EPW/CI operations. No member of the US armed forces may be placed in confinement in immediate association with an EPW or other foreign nationals who are not members of the US armed forces. A confinement facility is maintained within the TO only if distance or the lack of transportation requires such a facility. When military prisoners are retained in theater, temporary field detention facilities may be established in the CZ and a field confinement facility in the COMMZ (see FM 19-40 and AR 190-47).


4-51. The L&O function consists of those measures necessary to enforce laws, directives, and punitive regulations. The MP's L&O function extends the battlefield commander's C2. The MP, in close coordination with the CID, work to suppress the chance for criminal behavior throughout the AO. By coordinating and maintaining liaison with other DOD, HN, joint, and multinational agencies, the MP at all levels coordinate actions to remove conditions that may promote crime or that have the potential to affect the combat force. Crime-prevention measures and selective enforcement measures are also performed as part of other functions. For example, the MP investigate traffic accidents and regulate traffic as part of the MMS function. The L&O function includes major areas such as law enforcement, criminal investigations, and support to US Customs operations. The primary units conducting L&O are the L&O detachments, customs teams, and CID units. Both the MWD team and the MP company (CS) also support the L&O function.


4-52. Law-enforcement operations assist the battlefield commander in preserving his force. The MP dedicate assets to conduct law-enforcement operations based on the commander's needs. Since MP L&O and CID assets may be limited during the initial stages of any operation, the PM depends on the supported commander's development of an effective crime-prevention program and uses established investigative tools (such as inquiries and AR 15-6 investigations) to enforce rules. This will allow the PM to employ limited MP assets to perform other functions. Law-enforcement operations include responding to civil disturbances, conducting raids, investigating traffic accidents, conducting vehicle searches, supporting the commander's force-protection program, and providing support to HN and civil-enforcement agencies. Law enforcement also includes employing special-reaction teams (SRTs), marksman/observer (M/O) teams, and MWD teams.

4-53. The Army conducts counterdrug-support operations that generally fall within several DOD counterdrug-mission categories. The MP support the Army's role rather than directly participating in civil law-enforcement activities (such as searches, seizures, and arrests). When tasked, the MP provide training to law-enforcement agencies in common soldier skills, physical security, and tactical planning and operations. US Code (USC) Title 18, Posse Comitatus Act, Section 1385 prohibits the use of DOD assets to enforce civilian law (federal and state) except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or by an act of Congress.

4-54. In multinational operations, the MP may assist with the creation of multinational police units. Circumstances that may support the establishment of these police forces include existing or negotiated terms of international agreements or security-assistance programs, a multinational operational agreement, or appropriate military directives. The MP provide the capability to train foreign MP and/or reconstitute indigenous constabulary forces as part of stability and support operations. The MP can provide the initial mentoring to these forces and provide temporary, emergency law-enforcement capabilities until the foreign military or civilian police forces are functional (see FM 100-8).


4-55. The MP investigate offenses against US forces or property committed by persons subject to military law. Investigations against minor crimes (such as low-value, personal-property thefts or simple assaults) are normally investigated by the MP's L&O detachment. Investigations against major incidents involving wrongful death, serious bodily injury, and war crimes are referred to special agents of the USACIDC. The USACIDC conducts death investigations in the absence of HN agreements or in conjunction with the HN. The USACIDC special agents are authorized to investigate any alleged criminal conduct in which there is an Army interest unless prohibited by law or higher authority.

4-56. The USACIDC's investigative authority and investigative responsibility outside of the US are determined by international treaty or agreement (including status of forces agreements [SOFAs]), the policies of the HN government, the US ambassador, and AR 195-2. In the absence of such provisions, the following guidelines apply:

  • On Army-controlled installations, the USACIDC has the authority to investigate alleged crimes.
  • Outside of an Army-controlled installation, the USACIDC may investigate after coordinating with HN authorities.

4-57. In all environments, the USACIDC has the responsibility to investigate all felony crimes involving Army personnel, DA civilians and agencies, and companies working for the Army. The USACIDC investigates war crimes and crimes involving personal and government property affecting the Army's mission (logistics security [LOGSEC]). Other investigations (such as those based on international treaties, SOFAs, and joint investigations with the HN) may be undertaken if requested by the supported commander in support of the overall Army mission. See Chapter 9 for a complete discussion of the USACIDC.


4-58. The MP support the US Customs Service (USCS), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), other federal agencies, joint staffs, and commanders who enforce the laws and regulations of the US concerning customs, agriculture, and immigration border clearances. Support to the USCS also includes assistance to federal agencies to eliminate the illegal traffic of controlled substances and other contraband through Army channels. MP support to customs operations are normally performed by specially trained MP customs teams. Although other MP units are not trained in all facets of customs operations, they may assist MP customs teams, the USCS or the USDA, and other federal agencies in the enforcement of applicable laws and regulations. When tasked, the MP/CID supports the investigation of violations of US Codes, DOD or DA regulations, and applicable provisions of SOFAs.

4-59. The MP report violations of customs laws, regulations, inspections, and investigative results to the installation's PM, the supported commander, and affected units. During redeployment from outside the continental US (OCONUS) to CONUS installations, the MP support the USCS or USDA efforts to ensure that personnel, equipment, and materiel meet customs, immigration, and agriculture requirements as stated by all applicable laws and regulations. As with other functions, MWD teams may be employed in support of customs operations for the detection of explosives or narcotics.


4-60. The PIO function supports, enhances, and contributes to the commander's protection program, situational awareness, and battlefield visualization by portraying relevant threat information that may affect his operational and tactical environments. This threat information—whether it is police, criminal, or combat information—is gathered while conducting MP functions. The PIO function—

  • Demonstrates the MP's/CID's capability to collect relevant threat information actively or passively.
  • Ensures that all information collected while conducting MMS, AS, I/R, and L&O functions continues to be reported through the proper channels so that it can be analyzed by the Intelligence Officer (US Army) (S2) or the Assistant Chief of Staff, G2 (Intelligence) (G2) with support from the appropriate MP echelon.
  • Coordinates with USACIDC elements to employ data developed by the USACIDC's programs. These programs include—
    • The Combating Terrorism Program as outlined in AR 525-13 and CIDR 195-1.
    • The Criminal Intelligence Program (CIP).
    • Personal-security vulnerability assessments (PSVAs).
    • A crime threat analysis.
    • Logistics-security threat assessments (LSTAs).

NOTE: The MP/CID must ensure that criminal information is released according to existing controls and restraints.

  • Maintains constant liaison and communication with the higher echelon S2/G2; psychological-operations (PSYOP) units; HN police and other law-enforcement agencies; joint, combined, interagency, and multinational forces; the staff judge advocate (SJA); the CMOC; civil-affairs teams; and the force-protection officer.

4-61. The MP brigade commander, the battalion commander, and the PM are responsible for the PIO function. As such, each one must determine the best way to employ the available staff resources to monitor the execution of the PIO function within his command.


4-62. The IPB is a systematic, continuous process for analyzing the threat and environment in a specific geographic area. It is designed to support staff estimates and military decision making. Applying the IPB process helps the commander selectively apply and maximize his combat power at critical points in time and space on the battlefield by—

  • Determining the threat's likely COA.
  • Describing the environment the unit is operating within and the environmental effects on the unit.

4-63. The IPB process consists of the following four steps:

  • Define the battlefield environment. The S2/G2 identifies the battlefield characteristics that will influence friendly and threat operations, establishes the limits of the area of interest (AOI), and identifies gaps in current intelligence holdings.
  • Describe the battlefield effects. The S2/G2 evaluates the environmental effects with which both sides must contend. The S2/G2 identifies the limitations and opportunities that the environment offers on the potential operations of friendly and threat forces. This evaluation process focuses on the general capabilities of each force until COAs are developed later in the IPB process. This environmental assessment always includes an examination of terrain and weather, but it may also include discussions of characteristics of geography and infrastructure and their effects on friendly and threat operations.
  • Evaluate the threat. The S2/G2 and his staff analyze the command's intelligence holdings to determine how the threat normally organizes for combat and conducts operations under similar circumstances. When facing a well-known threat, the S2/G2 can rely on historical databases and threat models. When operating against a new or less known threat, he may need to develop his intelligence databases and threat models concurrently.
  • Determine the threat's COA. Given what the threat normally prefers to do and the effects of the specific environment in which he is operating, his likely objectives and the COAs available to him are determined. The S2/G2 develops enemy COA models that depict the threat's available COAs. He also prepares event templates and matrices that focus intelligence and identify which COA the enemy will execute (see FM 34-130).

4-64. Although the S2/G2 has the staff responsibility for the command's IPB, he is not the only one who conducts or needs to understand and use the IPB. Every Army commander and staff member must understand and apply the IPB process during the staff planning process. The MP on the battlefield are no exception. The MP employ the IPB process as their first step in developing and implementing the PIO function within their commands.

4-65. During the IPB process, the S2/G2 uses all available databases, intelligence sources/products, and related MI disciplines to analyze the threat and the environment. The PIO function supports this process by providing the S2/G2 with collected police, criminal, and combat information that can directly and significantly contribute to the success of the MI effort. In addition to the combat information, the PIO function provides additional information on possible criminal threats and COAs that may support the S2's/G2's IPB process and that can be used by the commander to upgrade the force-protection posture.


4-66. Like the S2/G2 uses the IPB process to continuously analyze the threat and the environment in a specific geographical area, MP leaders use the PIAP as a tool to continuously collect, organize, interpret, and gain access to police/criminal information in support of the IPB process. Criminal trends may have an impact on the tactical scenario, and the PIAP is a method used to consider this threat and its impact on friendly forces. MP leaders cannot use the PIAP as a substitute for the IPB process—the PIAP complements the IPB (see Appendix E).


4-67. Every MP conducts the PIO function in a passive mode during their normal day-to-day operations and across the full spectrum of military operations. In the passive mode, PIO are not a stand-alone function; as such, they cannot be separated from other MP functions.

4-68. During the performance of MMS, AS, I/R, and L&O functions, the MP develop and exchange information with other organizations in the AO. The MP obtain information through contact with civilians, NGOs, IHOs, local and HN police, multinational police, and other security forces. If the MP receive, observe, or encounter information (police, criminal, or combat) while performing these functions, they will immediately submit a report to relay information up the chain of command. This report may be in the form of a size, activity, location, unit, time, and equipment (SALUTE) report; a spot report (SPOTREP); or another appropriate report. When the higher echelon (brigade, battalion, or PM) receives this information, it is simultaneously integrated into the ongoing IPB/PIAP and forwarded to the higher echelon S2/G2 (see Figure 4-1 below).

Figure 4-1. PIO—Passive Mode

4-69. If police/criminal information is obtained, the MP—

  • Update the previous police/criminal estimates provided to the S2/G2.
  • Identify new or potential criminal threats or trends in the AO.
  • Consider recommending that the supported commander upgrade the force-protection level.
  • Notify adjacent units of the potential criminal threat that may affect their forces.
  • Consider reprioritizing MP support to the identified threat area.
  • Share information with HN/local police and other agencies.

4-70. If combat information is obtained, the MP—

  • Forward the information to the higher headquarters S2/G2.
  • Forward the information to the MP chain of command, integrate it into the MP's IPB process and, if necessary, take appropriate action.
  • Notify the adjacent unit of the potential threat that may affect their forces.

4-71. The preceding vignette demonstrates the MP performing the PIO function in the passive mode. The MP team received the information while conducting a TCP and submitted it through the appropriate chain of command, which resulted in an action taken. This example stresses the importance of submitting information up the chain of command regardless of whether it may be police, criminal, or combat information.


4-72. The MP perform the PIO function in the active mode and across the full spectrum of military operations when directed by higher headquarters. In this mode, the MP conduct specific MMS, AS, I/R, and L&O missions with the intent to collect information actively in support of the S2's/G2's IPB process or the PIAP.

4-73. When the S2/G2 identifies a gap in the command's knowledge of the threat and the current threat situation, it may be recommended to be included as priority intelligence requirements (PIR). The S2/G2 will then develop a collection plan to assist him in filling this gap. Part of his collection strategy is to select the best collectors available to cover each intelligence requirement. After a thorough analysis (which includes availability, capability, and performance history), the collection manager identifies which collection asset can best be used in response to a given requirement, and the Operations and Training Officer (US Army) (S3)/G3 tasks the asset. If the S2/G2 determines that the MP is the right force to serve as collectors, the S3/G3 will go through the appropriate request channels and task the PM. The S2/G2 will then provide the PM with a specific guideline and a prioritized collection requirement (see FM 34-2).

4-74. On receipt of the mission, the PM will conduct a mission analysis to decide which specific MP function (MMS, AS, I/R, or L&O) is needed to satisfy the S2's/G2's requirement. Once the analysis is completed and the appropriate function selected, the PM will then task subordinate units with the collection mission. Once the mission is completed, the PM may receive another collection tasking or continue with previous MP tasks.

4-75. When the MP commander or the PM conducts the PIAP, he may also encounter a police/criminal information gap. This gap may become the MP commander's police/criminal information requirements (PCIR). If the gap cannot be filled with available data from the S2/G2, the CID, the HN, and other agencies, the MP commander/PM may task subordinate MP units or request CID assistance to support the collection effort. On receipt of the mission, the MP will then conduct a mission analysis and decide which specific MP function (MMS, AS, I/R, or L&O) is needed to satisfy the PM requirement. Once the mission is completed, the MP may receive another collection tasking or continue with previous MP tasks (see Figure 4-2 below).

4-76. Since any soldier on the battlefield can report police or criminal information, the MP commander or the PM must constantly coordinate and communicate with the S2/G2, PSYOP, and other agencies to obtain information that could be of MP/CID interest. This constant coordination is a key factor for ensuring that the MP/CID has visibility over the police/criminal information that is reported through non-MP channels.

Figure 4-1. PIO—Active Mode

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