229th MP Co. presented marksmanship award, sharpen warrior skills during AT

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long,  Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presents a Certificate of Recognition signed by Governor Bob McDonnell in honor of the 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group earning the Pershing Trophy for the highest marksmanship scores in the nation. Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Green, the Virginia Guard’s senior enlisted leader, along with senior leaders from the 529th CSSB and the adjutant general also took time to visit with the MPs and observe some of their training. The 229th MPs are conducting annual training at Fort Pickett June 15-29. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presents a Certificate of Recognition signed by Governor Bob McDonnell in honor of the 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group earning the Pershing Trophy for the highest marksmanship scores in the nation. Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Green, the Virginia Guard’s senior enlisted leader, along with senior leaders from the 529th CSSB and the adjutant general also took time to visit with the MPs and observe some of their training. The 229th MPs are conducting annual training at Fort Pickett June 15-29. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. – Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group received a Certificate of Recognition from Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell June 27, 2013, in honor of the unit earning the Pershing Trophy for marksmanship excellence. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia presented the certificate during the company’s annual training, held at Fort Pickett June 15-29.

“Congratulations to all of you all,” Long said to the group of assembled Soldiers. “There’s hundreds and hundreds of units out there across the nation and you all are the best of the best. You should feel really good about that. I do, and I challenge you to continue to do as well as you’ve done and set the example for others to follow.”

The Pershing Trophy is awarded by the National Guard Association of the United States and recognizes the National Guard unit with the top marksmanship skills.

“There’s nothing wrong at all with being the best in the nation,” added Long.

During annual training, the company focused on improving their warrior skills, particularly convoy security techniques and how to conduct mounted and dismounted patrols, after spending the first week of AT qualifying on individual and crew served weapons.

“From the first week we got very close to our company goal which was 100% qualification on all our weapons systems,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Eggleston, the commander of the 229th MP Co. “For the second week, it all goes back to state active duty missions, where, like for the inauguration, we were able to do [traffic control points]. So we’re trained in those skills well enough that we can be called on to put them to use anytime.”

The training conducted by the MPs progressed from a walk to a crawl to a run phase, with the training events gaining complexity as the week went along.

“In the later stages of the lanes training, we add in more elements and complex training,” Eggleston said.

The company also made use of Fort Pickett’s urban training site during part of their annual training, allowing for the Soldiers to work through complex battle scenarios.

“I’m hoping the Soldiers get a better feel for what we would go through if we get called up again,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn D. Novak, a squad leader with the 229th. “What we try to do is get the younger Soldiers to be in more of a leadership position so that they know what to do if a squad leader or a team leader goes down.”

The Soldiers of the 229th MP Co. participated in the 57th Presidential Inauguration earlier this year, operating traffic control points in Washington, D.C.

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group hone their Soldier skills June 25, 2013 at Fort Pickett while working on entering and clearing a building and cordon and search. The 229th MPs are conducting annual training at Fort Pickett June 15-29. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group hone their Soldier skills June 25, 2013 at Fort Pickett while working on entering and clearing a building and cordon and search. The 229th MPs are conducting annual training at Fort Pickett June 15-29. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

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Photos: AG, SEL visit 229th MP Co. Soldiers, present Certificate of Recognition from Gov. McDonnell — June 27, 2013