Dragoon Ready 20: Military Police Squad Leader – Interview

SSG Fairchild discusses her job and what the Soldiers of the 59th MP Co. are doing during Dragoon Ready 20. Fairchild also talks about why it is important to train with our NATO allies and partners and why JMRC is a good place to sharpen their skills.

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Currently we’re in the role-player town of Kittensee, which is at the joint multi-national readiness center of training in Hohenfels, Germany. My platoon is conducting a converse security, PSD, and TCP mission simultaneously along with the RES out here and first platoon which is doing, or second platoon, which is doing a DCP. My company is spread across Hohenfels itself, the Hohenfels training area. We have multiple missions, whether it’s PSD, the detaining ops mission we have going on. We have route clearance, route recon. Essentially, just to support TCR, the RES, and be an asset for them. I think it’s important to utilize JMRC and take it seriously in that training aspect, because it’s not very often you get to train like this with your soldiers and with other units within the area. This is personally my first time working directly with engineers, watching them clear mine fields. So, I think it’s important to understand what your job is in comparison to everyone else you’re working with out on the battlefield. I think they put a lot of thought and planning into these types of rotations. With the role-players and the op four, and understanding this is a near peer environment. We’re no longer looking at the same type of battle zone that we were looking at 10 years ago. So, I think that, with the threat being that much higher, and the planning that went into this, it’s pretty awesome. It’s pretty awesome to see how everything works out in the end. You get to see the whole scenario play out. For my squad and for my platoon as a whole, we came out here to Kittensee with the intent of protecting the DCO, and his assets, and we were able to do that. We got him here successfully, had no problems getting here. When we did get here, we did come under contact, however we were able to secure him, the chief of police and the mayor of the town, and I think that was the best part of the exercise so far. Because I was able to see my soldiers had taken the training seriously and we were able to protect our assets, which was our number one mission coming out here. I would say that some of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is navigating unfamiliar terrain, as well as communications issues. We have to be able to communicate with people outside of just our own unit, and when they’re so spread apart, and we don’t understand the terrain, and how it affects our communication equipment, because we’ve never been out here, that was pretty difficult, too. We’ve been able to work around it since then, but I think up to that point that was probably the hardest. Oh, I fully believe in our NATO forces coming together, and in training together. Because not only can we influence them by some of our training tactics, believe it or not, they have some cool ideas too that we can implement into our training as well. I would say as a squad leader, military police squad leader specifically, I learned that because my squad is so new to me, I’ve only had them for a couple weeks, I’ve learned that it’s important to build and develop a strong bond with your team leaders and with your soldiers as a whole. And constantly stay in communication with them to have that kind of command and control, and protect them. And I learned that it’s important to work with, not only your NATO forces, but also with the other units around you, the engineers, the infantry. We like to have these friendly battles, however at the end of the day, we’re all here for the same purpose, and so far we’ve gotten the job done. And I’m really proud.

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