CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- With a knee in the back of their suspect as they zip shut plastic hand restraints, Marines are able to get a taste of what it would be like to detain foreign adversaries during a monthly field exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 6-10, 2017.
Marines with 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group practiced company-level operations such as tactical site exploitation, mounted and dismounted patrols, and detainee operations. In addition, they received a class from Navy corpsmen about how to care for casualties in the event of the patrol taking fire.
“Every company in our unit has a purpose and with this training, we get to better prepare ourselves to serve ours,” said Lance Cpl. Abagail Waldron, a military policeman with LE Bn.
As part of the exercise, there was a notional takeover of a neighboring country where rebel groups attempted to overthrow the government. American forces stepped up to help patrol different areas of the country to find and detain members of that group.
During the patrols, the Marines received intelligence on various suspects spotted in the woods and small huts. Following protocol, the Marines would question and pat down the accused and detain those who they deemed harmful or needed to interrogate further.
“When a situation happens and we are on patrolling operations, we don’t have to wonder what is going to come next, everyone knows,” said 1st Lt. Kayla Sharp, a platoon commander with LE Bn. “We have immediate action drills. We’ve practiced and worked through them, so when the time comes, we’re prepared.”
Following the detainment of whom they deemed harmful, the Marines were given the chance to question them. They also collected evidence and reviewed it in the field to determine what could be helpful in concluding their detainee’s guilt or innocence.
“If we don’t have training like this, situations that our specific companies might be put in, then we wouldn’t be ready,” said Waldron.
This training gave the Marines skill sets that they will need when they attach to and forward deploy with the 26th MEU later next year.