Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer
The 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) and the 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) of the 15th Military Police Brigade inactivated and redesignated during
an inactivation and designation ceremony Dec. 1 on Main Parade.
The 40th MP Battalion (Detention) is now the United States Disciplinary Barracks Battalion (Corrections), and the 705th MP Battalion (Detention) is now the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility Battalion (Corrections).
During the ceremony, Col. Michael Johnston, commander of the 15th MP Brigade, reflected on the history of each battalion. Johnston said both battalions and their units have served in a variety of conflicts and always accomplish missions with their people in mind. He said the corrections and detention community shares a bond and pride that is difficult to replicate.
“Our units and (their) soldiers, former and present, should be proud of what each has accomplished and look forward to the future of these battalions as they focus their efforts on continuing the proud legacy and achieving corrections excellence, supporting the DoD’s two largest correctional facilities.”
Johnston said the battalions continue to face changes and opportunities, and although change may evoke feelings of apprehension among other emotions, the battalions have the opportunity to grow and excel.
“Opportunity exists to hone and perfect our unique skill set as correctional experts with a sole mission now of providing care and custody to our 650 inmates — opportunities to support our great nation through the security and rehabilitation of our military’s most troubled soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines,” Johnston said. “It is a tall order, but one we are postured to do and do well.”The lineage of the 40th MP Battalion traces back to June 1945, when the battalion served in China during World War II as the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 40th MP Service Battalion, which was inactivated
in 1949 in Japan. It was reactivated to serve in Okinawa during the Korean War and inactivated again in 1953. In 1966 the unit reactivated as HHD, 40th MP Battalion, during
the Vietnam War in Thailand from 1967 until inactivation in 1970.
Reactivated again in 1986, the battalion provided one station unit training for military police soldiers under the U.S. Army Regimental Affiliation program until inactivation in 1990.
The unit reactivated at Fort Leavenworth in 2009 as the 40th MP Battalion (Internment/Resettlement) under Forces Command and attached to the USDB for training and readiness authority. In 2010, it transferred to the reactivated 15th Military Police Brigade. The battalion was redesignated from internment and resettlement to detention following a deployment to Iraq in 2011.
Unlike the 40th MP Battalion, the 705th MP battalion has a long history at Fort Leavenworth. It was first activated in 1906 as the U.S Military Prison Guard Battalion and inactivated in 1929 until its 1940 reactivation as the USDB Guard Battalion. In 1984, the unit went from provisional to permanent status as the USDB MP Battalion. In 2006, it reactivated as a modification table of organization and equipment unit as the 705th MP Battalion (Internment/Resettlement), under Forces Command and attached to the USDB
for TRA, and transferred to the 15th MP Brigade in 2010 and now supports the Joint Regional Correctional Facility. The battalion deployed units to Iraq in 2006 and 2009 and redesignated from internment and resettlement to detention in 2015.
Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Shad, 15th MP Brigade, said the 705th’s 2006 deployment to Camp Bucca, Iraq, was a memorable achievement for the battalion — it was the first time since WWII a unit deployed from Fort Leavenworth.
“In my opinion, I think the most memorable (achievements) are past deployments throughout the history of both organizations.”
Shad said the latest inactivation and designation for the two battalions and their companies primarily transfers the corrections and detentions mission for deployable capability to the 508th MP Battalion of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wa., as well as
to the Guard and Reserve.
“The mission now for the 15th MP Brigade is still to provide corrections expertise across the Army, and we still will be called upon to deploy in individual augmentees, but not as
organic organizations,” Shad said. “At the end of the day, the mission for the
15th MP Brigade is still to run both facilities, the USDB and the JRCF, and (continue) providing the correctional excellence across the Army.”