MP platoon prepares for federal duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct Army Warrior Task training on individual movement techniques Aug. 14, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va., during their three weeks of pre-mobilization training to prepare for an upcoming deployment. A platoon of approximately 30 Soldiers from the 229th will enter active federal service for duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Oct. 15, 2015, and they expect to be in Cuba for about nine months. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct Army Warrior Task training on individual movement techniques Aug. 14, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va., during their three weeks of pre-mobilization training to prepare for an upcoming deployment. A platoon of approximately 30 Soldiers from the 229th will enter active federal service for duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Oct. 15, 2015, and they expect to be in Cuba for about nine months. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — To prepare for their upcoming federal mobilization to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group completed more than 100 pre-mobilization tasks during their annual training held Aug. 1-20, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va. The platoon of approximately 30 Soldiers will begin federal active duty Oct. 15, and they are expected to conduct security operations during their nine months in Cuba.

“Our annual training is going really well,” said 1st Lt. Jennifer Rauch, platoon leader for the deploying Soldiers, also known as Delta Platoon. “We have fit so much into a very short period of time. It’s been fantastic.”

Rauch said the there has been a highly-effective balance with classroom training where Soldiers were encouraged to actively take part in discussions to enhance their learning along with hands-on field training focused on Army Warrior Tasks and battle drills.

Every Soldier qualified on both the M9 pistol and M4 rifle, a requirement unique to military police Soldiers. In addition, 100 percent of the Soldiers also qualified as combat lifesavers, she said. The also completed a number of administrative requirements like equipment issue and medical screenings.

Some of the best training occurred when squads were assigned to research a specific topics, then lead discussions with the rest of the platoon.

“We had a day where learned about all the different cultural aspects of Cuba, from the people who live there to Guantanamo Bay to working with the Navy and the civilian contractors,” Rauch said. She praised the instructors for making all the training relative to their upcoming mission in Cuba.

The focus of the AT at Fort Pickett was on basic Soldiers skills, and the platoon will focus on more collective military police tasks during their mobilization training scheduled to take place at Fort Bliss, Texas, at the start of their federal mobilization.

“Delta Platoon’s three-week pre-mobilization training was outstanding,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Lutz, commander of the 529th CSSB. “The Pre-mobilization Training Assistance Element team provided an expertise that is unmatched in our battalion, and I truly appreciate their efforts supporting the mission of the military police platoon.”

Lutz also praised the platoon for their hard work and motivation during AT.

“It is one of the best-motivated group of Soldiers I’ve had the pleasure to serve with,” he said. “I’m proud they are in our battalion, and the platoon leadership is solid and has all my confidence in taking care of their Soldiers. I know they will represent the nation and the commonwealth with the highest level of professionalism.”

The 229th MP Company last mobilized for federal active duty from August 2009 to July 2010. The unit was expected to provide police training to the Iraqi Police, but was task organized and provided additional training to also conduct protection service detail missions. The unit was also very active in conducting humanitarian missions while in Iraq.

Since September 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized on federal active duty for homeland security missions and combat operations, sustainment support and peacekeeping in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other locations around the world.

Additional information the 229th MP Company:

Photos: Military Police Soldiers train for upcoming Guantanamo Bay deployment – Aug. 7, 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157656992611976

Va. Guard Soldiers based in Virginia Beach to mobilize for duty at Guantanamo Bay – July 31, 2015
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2015/07/31/7840/

229th MP Co. presented marksmanship award, sharpen warrior skills during AT – July 17, 2013
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2013/07/17/4178/

Virginia Beach-based military police company returns to Virginia from Iraqi duty – July 30, 2010
http://vko.va.ngb.army.mil/virginiaguard/news/july10/229threturn.html