Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
On Feb. 11, the 29 members of the 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) X Platoon returned from their eightmonth deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve where they provided expertise in detainee operations and additional support for those on the ground.
The soldiers were honored in a redeployment ceremony March 17 in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 705th MP Battalion company operations facility.
“It’s difficult times right now across the globe as we face the COVID-19 virus and has resulted in drastic measures, so although we do not have a big formation here today to welcome you back for your redeployment ceremony, that does not marginalize the importance of today’s ceremony,” said Col. Caroline Smith, 15th MP Brigade commander.
Smith said the brigade received the mission orders more than a year ago and immediately started planning the best way to accomplish it, deciding that the 705th MP Battalion should take the lead.
“We all agreed we needed to (identify) the platoon members early,” Smith said. “This would allow them to train and gel together as a team before they pushed out.”
Members of the platoon underwent readiness and psychological screening before being chosen for the mission, which departed in June 2019.
During the deployment, the soldiers, under the command of 1st Lt. Callie
Manning and Sgt. 1st Class Charles Buford, conducted several missions including the establishment of emergency action procedures, creating international relationships and meeting with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In the process, X Platoon earned more than 80 awards, had 18 promotions, executed 11 training exercises, completed 100 college credit hours, had six reenlistments and processed more than 200 personnel actions outside of daily duties.
“It was quite remarkable to witness the success of your soldiers as they accomplished their missions. Their accomplishments were spoken of with the highest regard by some of the country’s leading officials,” Manning said.
“These soldiers received praise from every command, visitor and inspection team that walked into their area of operations.
“I can’t express enough how proud I am of every single one of these soldiers, professionally and personally,” she said. “We executed the mission with the utmost professionalism and proudly represented the brigade, the MP Corps and the United States Army for the entire Department of Defense to witness.”
Smith said X Platoon did not let the brigade down.
“I want you all to know how very proud we are of all of you,” Smith said. “I want to personally thank you for answering the call to duty and excelling at your mission with very little command oversight.
“To the family members, thank you for supporting your soldier,” she said. “Your support and encouragement means more than you know to the heart of a soldier, and I can’t thank you enough for the sacrifices you bear to support the Army and the nation.”
Following formal remarks, each member of the platoon was awarded with an Army Commendation Medal with Combat Device by Smith and 15th MP Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Shad. The soldiers were also congratulated by the 705th MP Battalion and 40th MP Battalion (Detention) command teams.
Manning and Buford will receive their awards at a later date once their awards are confirmed and processed.