Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
The 15th Military Police Brigade conducted a ceremony Feb. 9 in recognition of a detachment of the brigade’s soldiers deploying soon for about four months to train Afghan correctional staff for operation Resolute Support. The detachment includes eight soldiers from both the 40th and 705th Military Police battalions.
The officer-in-charge, 1st Lt. Trevor Barton, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), said the deploying element is unique in its makeup. He said both local military police battalions have deployment experience.
“Our primary mission in Afghanistan will be serving as correctional specialists,” Barton said. “We bring decades of validated and applied experience to assist the host-nation security force.”
Barton said the 705th has supported operations in Bosnia and during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 40th has supported Operation New Dawn in Iraq, and both battalions have supported deployments to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
“Our deployment represents the continued and enduring commitment to provide the people of Afghanistan the effective tools needed for literally maintaining law and order,” Barton said. “Our soldiers are among the very best the Army has to offer.”
Noncommissioned officer in charge of the detachment, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Farrell, HHC, JRCF, said the soldiers selected for the deployment were recommended by their respective units and then further vetted to select the best of the best qualified.
“Our detachment will have the important task of training host-nation forces,” Farrell said. “Each soldier understands the role they bring to accomplishing our expressed mission.”
In addition to Barton and Farrell, members of the deployment detachment include: Staff Sgt. Anthony Sheets, 526th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention); Sgt. Shane Marston, HHC, 40th MP Battalion (Detention); Sgt. Gregory Whitson, 256th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention); Spc. Robert Davenport, 165th MP Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention); Spc. Patricia Unterburger, HHC, 40th MP Battalion (Detention); and, Spc. Eugene Worden, HHC, JRCF, 705th MP Battalion (Detention).
15th MP Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Cereghino said with the transition of NATO support from a combat role to a train, advise and assist mission, the number and type of participating forces will continue to change.
“I am proud of the group before you,” Cereghino said. “They have been chosen by their chain of command for an important mission. And, even with the current overall reduced military presence, a vital mission remains in supporting our Afghan allies.”
Following the completion of the mission of the International Security Assistance Force at the end of 2014, a new NATO-led mission called Resolute Support was launched Jan. 1, 2015, to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces and institutions.
Joining the 15th MP Brigade personnel deploying to train Afghan correctional staff for operation Resolute Support are soldiers from the 42nd MP Brigade out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and U.S. Army Regional Correctional Facility - Europe out of Germany.