Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
The 256th Military Police Company, 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention), conducted riot-control training that included practicing specific situational techniques in the company area March 29.
First Lt. Conor Kane, executive officer, 256th MP Company, said the riot-control training includes a series of skills the soldiers must maintain. He said the company purposely simulated situations that occur during a riot-control event.
“The primary mission of the (internment/resettlement) specialists assigned here is to man the (correctional) facilities,” Kane said. “And, this makes finding dedicated training time challenging.”
Internment/resettlement specialists, Military Occupational Specialty 31E, are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility.
“We took advantage of the time in our schedule to train for an entire week on tasks related to riot control,” Kane said.
Pfc. Frederick Agvald, 256th MP Company, has been in the Army for 10 months and said military service is a great experience for him so far. He said the team-building aspects of the riot-control training were necessary to its effectiveness in practice.
“We trained to maintain proficiency in the primary duties we perform as (internment/resettlement) specialists — restraints, riot control, forced-cell extractions,” Agvald said. “I enjoyed the training because we also learned to work together as a team while performing the tasks.”
Agvald said the line formation portion of riot-control training required the soldiers to listen to commands that directed their collective movements and responses to events occurring during an active riot situation scenario. He said knowing where to move as directed, and what to do if someone takes a shield, are important.
“I felt the training was an eye-opening experience for many of us,” Agvald said. “It put us in a situation out of our comfort zone, and allowed us to have some fun together while learning what to do if something like this were actually to happen in the facility.”
Staff Sgt. Anthony Maggenti, 256th MP Company, said an important aspect of the training used non-lethal techniques. He said this included the soldiers experiencing the effects of oleoresin capsicum pepper spray.
“OC is often used in the efforts to subdue riot or cell extraction situations. These situations may escalate quickly, and they will usually have no protective masks on hand,” Maggenti said. “It is important that correctional specialists personally experience the effects of OC before experiencing its use in an active situation.”
Maggenti said the company began training in the morning with teaching essential riot control formations in elements ranging in size from squads to platoons. He said all of the formations apply to the 256th MP Company corrections mission.
Page 2 of 2 - “Mission dictates the size of the team. A larger space usually requires a bigger element,” Maggenti said. “There are always things to improve, but the soldiers looked good today from my perspective. They were highly motivated and took care of business in each area of training.”
First Sgt. Jarrod Phillips said the company’s soldiers responded well to the training. He said the individual platoons regularly train throughout the year, but the entire company is typically only able to train en masse about once each year.
“This week was dedicated to mission training as a company,” Phillips said. “Monday we taught forced cell extraction techniques, Tuesday was Army task training, and Wednesday, riot control.”
Phillips said the squad competition on Thursday afforded the company’s noncommissioned officers opportunity to connect with their soldiers. Phillips said the company would travel to Fort Riley to conclude the week with soldier readiness processing.
“We have a total of 116 soldiers assigned, and training is vital to our mission performance proficiency,” Phillips said. “A major part of my job is to teach, coach and mentor our NCOs to ensure they have what they need to take care of our soldiers. They’ve all performed very well today.”